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Growth and Nutrition of Loblolly Pine on Coal Mine Spoil as Affected by Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizer and Cover Crops

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A year-old planting of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings on graded, sandstone-derived coal mine spoil in northeastern Alabama was subjected to a series of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization-ground cover treatments. Supplemental N was subsequently applied for some treatments. Tree growth and foliage nutrient status were monitored for 6 years. The trees responded markedly to an initial NP fertilization (84 kg/ha of N and 150 kg/ha of P as ammonium polyphosphate) and to two supplemental N applications (each of 112 kg/ha of N as ammonium nitrate). Trees became N-deficient within a year after the initial NP fertilization and again within 3 years after the first N supplementation. On sericea lespedeza-seeded plots, which received only the initial NP fertilization, both N concentrations in tree foliage and tree growth were relatively low at first, but improved steadily from about the fourth year. By the sixth year, growth rate and N-nutrition status of these trees were superior to those on plots which received one 112-kg/ha increment of supplemental N and nearly equal to those provided two. Observations following a chance exposure of the planting to abnormally high levels of atmospheric SO2 indicated that the resulting pine needle necrosis was substantially less frequent and less severe in plots where trees were of high N status at the time of exposure. Forest Sci. 24:398-409.

Keywords: Forest nutrition; Pinus taeda; SO2 damage; foliage analysis; legumes

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Agronomist, Tennessee Valley Authority, National Fertilizer Development Center, Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35660

Publication date: 1978-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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