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Notes: Nitrogen Accretion and Availability in Some Snowbrush Ecosystems

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Abstract:

We examined two chronosequences in the Oregon Cascade Mountains to assess nitrogen accretion and availability in relation to snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus Dougl.). In two 12-year-old snowbrush ecosystems, total soil nitrogen to 30-cm depth exceeded levels in adjacent old-growth stands by 500 and 570 kg ha-1. Inclusion of the approximate nitrogen content of aboveground snowbrush and forest floor biomass raised the estimate of nitrogen fixation to 94 to 100 kg ha-1 yr-1 over 12 years. Snowbrush also increased the availability index of soil nitrogen, but nitrogen availability appeared high in all ecosystems. We speculate that nitrogen fixation by snowbrush during early succession in these ecosystems has been sufficient to prevent nitrogen limitation throughout the entire successional sequence. The presence of snowbrush for 12 years also increased soil carbon 40 and 60 percent in the two chronosequences. Forest Sci. 28:720-724.

Keywords: Ceanothus velutinus; carbon; forest soil fertility; nitrogen fixation

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Research Soil Scientist, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Publication date: 1982-12-01

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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