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Leaching of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Total Organic Carbon from Loblolly Pine Litter by Simulated Rainfall

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Information on nutrients leached from pine litter, which should aid the understanding of nutrient cycling, was derived by applying simulated rainfall to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) litter in 1.0 m² pans with a multiple-intensity rainfall simulator. In one study, rainfall intensity was varied from 12 to 105 mm · h-1; in another study, intensity was held constant at 25 mm · h-1, but applied to three litter weights of 3.4, 5.3, and 7.8 t · ha-1. At each intensity and litter weight, 25.4 mm of rainfall was applied. New litter was used for each replicate. Runoff sampled throughout each replicate was analyzed for NH4-N, PO4-P, and total organic carbon (TOC). Nutrient concentrations in runoff rapidly increased to a maximum and then rapidly decreased to a near constant value in the remaining runoff. Hyperbolic equations, Y = a + b/X, best described the concentration curves as a function of time and runoff volume following the maximum concentration. Regardless of intensity, litter weight, or nutrient, maximum concentration occurred in the first 1.5 mm of rainfall after runoff began; the near constant concentration occurred after the first 14 mm. Nutrient concentrations and losses increased as litter weight was increased; however, in general, neither concentrations nor losses were related to rainfall intensity. Forest Sci. 31:750-759.

Keywords: Pinus taeda; ammonium; nutrient cycling

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Supervisory Soil Scientist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Sedimentation Laboratory, P.O. Box 1157, Oxford, MS 38655

Publication date: 1985-09-01

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  • 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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