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Distribution of Aboveground Biomass in Three Pine Species Planted on a Devastated Site Amended with Sewage Sludge or Inorganic Fertilizer

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Five-year-old loblolly, shortleaf, and Virginia pines growing on sites initially planted with 11,960 seedlings/ha on plots amended with 34,000 kg/ha of dried sewage sludge or with 896 kg/ha of 10-10-10 inorganic fertilizer and 1,417 kg/ha of CaO, were felled, separated into stem and branches plus foliage, and sampled, to determine relative amounts of wood, bark, and foliage. On plots amended with sewage sludge, Virginia pine produced significantly more total tree biomass than the other species, and shortleaf produced significantly less. Regardless of fertility treatment, less than half of the total tree biomass for shortleaf and loblolly consisted of branches, but dry weight of branches for Virginia pine was twice that of the main stem. In terms of biomass composition, trees growing on plots amended with sewage sludge averaged about 8 percent more wood as a percentage of total tree weight and proportionately less foliage than trees on plots amended with inorganic fertilizer. Regression equations based on independent variables of stem diameter at ground line and total height were developed to estimate total tree dry biomass. Estimated stand biomass was more than three times greater on the sludge plots than on fertilizer plots. Forest Sci. 31:373-382.

Keywords: Pinus echinata; Pinus taeda; Pinus virginiana; biomass; reclamation; tree components

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Plant Pathologist, USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Asheville, NC, and Athens, GA

Publication date: June 1, 1985

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