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Nutrient Distribution and Flux in a Mature Oak-Hickory Forest

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Abstract:

Nutrient pools and fluxes in southern Illinois oak-hickory forests were studied to determine their nutrient status. Results show that biomass nutrient pools are relatively small in terms of the total site nutrient pool. Major nutrient return processes to the forest floor include precipitation inputs, throughfall, stemflow, and litterfall. The water related pathways may contribute greatly to short-term nutrient requirements of the stand because of the relatively slow release of nutrients in litter. Uptake requirements are easily balanced in this forest system under present conditions, but increased emphasis on shorter rotations, greater utilization of aboveground biomass and clear-cutting harvest techniques emphasize the need for a critical look at the input/output balance of oak-hickory forests. Forest Sci. 24:122-130.

Keywords: Nitrogen; Phosphorus; litterfall; stemflow; throughfall

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forester, Department of Forestry University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Publication date: March 1, 1978

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