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Phytomass and Nutrients in the Understory and Forest Floor of Slash/Longleaf Pine Stands

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Estimates are made of the quantity of nutrients and energy in aboveground phytomass for a number of slash/longleaf pine stands with palmetto/gallberry understories. Detailed chemical data are presented for elemental concentrations by species and size of material for the understory and forest floor. A highly significant relationship exists between time since last disturbance (fire) and weight of major elements in the forest floor, understory vegetation, and total material aboveground. No significant correlations exist between time since last disturbance and element weights for palmetto rhizomes, the overstory. or the 0- to 10-cm soil layer. The quantity of N, P, and Mn in the soil exceeded the amounts in the total aboveground phytomass. However, the amounts of K, Ca, Mg, and S in the aboveground phytomass exceeded the amounts in the upper 10-cm layer. Thus the understory and forest floor materials are important nutrient sinks under these circumstances, and have important forest management implications. Forest Sci. 28:359-372.

Keywords: Pine/saw-palmetto/gallberry; energy; prescribed burning; soil

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Station Director for Continuing Research, Southern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, New Orleans, LA 70113

Publication date: 1982-06-01

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

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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