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Developing a general method for the estimation of the fertility rating parameter of the 3-PG model: application in Eucalyptus globulus plantations in northwestern Spain

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Simple, operational tools are required for forest managers to quantify the effects of soil fertility on tree growth and ecosystem sustainability leading to precise, sustainable forest management. The simplified process-based 3-PG model (Landsberg, J.J., and Waring, R.H., For. Ecol. Manage. 95: 209–228, 1997) provides a useful framework for operational prediction of forest growth. However, no simple objective method for relating the effects of available soil nutrients to the model fertility parameter fertility rating (FR) is yet available. The present study aimed to compare several general modeling approaches for the estimation of FR values from soil relative nutrient contents (RNCs) to maximum nonlimiting values, measured in the whole soil profile, at continuous inventory plots of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. in several locations under different parent materials in northwestern Spain. The modeling approaches tested provided good predictions of FR values from RNCs. In particular, using the minimum value of the most significant RNCs showed considerable potential for modeling FR values and plantation growth responses to them. This modeling approach showed promise to be further tested as a generally applicable strategy for estimating the effect of soil nutrients on forest plantations growth.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Forest Engineering, University of Vigo, Campus A Xunqueira, 36005 Pontevedra, Spain. 2: Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Tapada Ajuda, 1349 017 Lisboa, Portugal. 3: CIT Ence, Lourizán 36153, Pontevedra, Spain. 4: Unit of Sustainable Forest Management, University of Santiago 27002, Lugo, Spain.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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