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Production and Nutrient Cycling in Mixed Plantations of Eucalyptus and Albizia in Hawaii

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Experimental plantations of pure Eucalyptus saligna (Sm.), pure Albizia falcataria (L.) Fosberg (a nitrogen-fixing species), and five proportions of mixtures of these species were examined at age 6 for biomass, production, nutrient cycling in litterfall, and resource-use efficiencies. Biomass was greatest in the 34% Eucalyptus/66% Albizia treatment, averaging 174 Mg/ha, compared with 148 Mg/ha in the fertilized pure Eucalyptus treatment and 132 Mg/ha for the pure Albizia treatment. The 34% Eucalyptus/66% Albizia treatment also showed the greatest aboveground net primary production (52 Mg ha-1 yr-1) and annual increment (39 Mg ha-1 yr-1). The N and P content of above-ground litterfall ranged from 35 and 3.5 kg ha-1 yr-1 in pure Eucalyptus to 240 and 9.5 kg ha-1 yr-1 in pure Albizia. Nutrient-use efficiency, defined as Mg of ANPP/kg of nutrient in fine litterfall, was greater for Eucalyptus (1.1 for N, 13.4 for P) than for Albizia (0.2 for N, 5.7 for P). Light-use efficiency ranged from about 14 kJ/MJ of intercepted light in the pure Albizia treatment, to 17 kJ/MJ in the pure Eucalyptus treatment, to 18 in the 34% Eucalyptus/66% Albizia treatment. The patterns of productivity across the mixtures resulted from the combination of (1) greater nutrient use efficiency of Eucalyptus, (2) greater nutrient cycling under Albizia, and (3) greater light capture and high use efficiency in mixed stands. For. Sci. 38(2):393-408.
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Keywords: Litterfall; nitrogen; nitrogen fixation; phosphorus; resource-use efficiency

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forest Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ft. Collins, CO

Publication date: 1992-04-01

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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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 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
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