N mineralisation + N deposition (kg N ha-1 yr1) Litterfall (leaf and root) (t C ha-1 yr1)

| Fig. 3.5.8. The relationship between A growth (total NNP and litter) and N availability and B C mineralisation and litter availability in various deciduous and coniferous forests in Europe (Schulze et al. 2000a). It can be seen that growth is generally related to N availability. Saturation of growth with N availability is not noticeable. In contrast, mineralisation does not follow the availability of litter, i.e. at present there is an accumulation of C in the organic layer over large areas of Europe. It is still unclear which factors are controlling this imbalance between availability and use in soil

with N deposition. There are indications that this type of accumulation could provide easily decomposable carbon, i.e. forests could change into important carbon sources with climate change.

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