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Nutrient Leaching of a Loblolly Pine Forest Floor by Simulated Rainfall I. Intensity Effects

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Material from the L(Oi) and F (Oe) horizons was collected from the floor of a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation and subjected separately and in combination to 25.4 mm of simulated rain at 6.1, 25.4, and 98.8 mm ยท h-1 using a multiple-intensity rainfall simulator. Leachate (rainfall that flowed through the floor materials), sampled at intervals during each simulated storm, was analyzed for PO4-P, NO3-N, NH4-N, and total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations. Generally, the concentration and amount of nutrients in the leachate were greater at the lower rainfall intensities. In the leachate within each storm the concentration increased rapidly to a maximum and then decreased to a nearly constant value for each intensity, horizon, and nutrient. After reaching a maximum concentration, the function C = aTb best described the relationship of concentration (C) with time (T); however, the function C = aebQ best described the relationship of concentration with cumulative leachate volume (Q). Of the total nutrient stored in the combined L and F horizons, a single storm leached ≤0.23% of the N as NH4-N and NO3-N, ≤0.15% of C as TOC, and up to 2.0% of the P as PO4-P. Results provide greater insight to nutrient cycling, provide input to chemical transport models, and make implications about management practices that change the forest floor. For. Sci. 36(3):765-776.
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Keywords: Nitrogen; Pine taeda; nutrient cycling; phosphorus; total organic carbon

Document Type: Journal Article

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

Publication date: 1990-09-01

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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.
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