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Production Efficiency and Radiation Use Efficiency of Four Tree Species Receiving Irrigation and Fertilization

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To determine the effect of resource availability on efficiency of stemwood production, we calculated radiation use efficiency (Ε stem = stem production/photosynthetically active radiation [PAR] interception) and production efficiency (PEstem = stem production/leaf area index [LAI]) from measurements of LAI, intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (IPAR), and stem production on stands of Pinus taeda, Pinus elliottii, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Platanus occidentalis during the sixth growing season. Treatments were control, irrigation only, and irrigation plus 57, 85, or 114 kg N ha−1 y−1. Compared to the control, irrigation plus 85 kg N ha−1 increased stem production: 8.7–15.0 Mg ha−1 y−1 (loblolly), 6.0–10.7 Mg ha−1 y−1 (slash), 1.2–12.8 Mg ha−1 y−1 (sweetgum), and 0.5–9.6 Mg ha−1 y−1 (sycamore). Annual PAR capture and LAI were correlated with stem production (r 2 = 0.80, r 2 = 0.66, respectively, average of 4 species). Fertilization and irrigation increased Ε stem and PEstem for sycamore, whereas only fertilization increased efficiencies for sweetgum. Irrigation increased PEstem for the pines. Foliar [N], often a surrogate for photosynthetic efficiency, was positively correlated with both efficiency variables for the hardwoods (r 2 from 0.65 to 0.79). For the pines, canopy size was the primary growth determinant. FOR. SCI. 51(6):556–569.
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Keywords: Radiation use efficiency; environmental management; fertilization; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; irrigation; natural resource management; natural resources; production efficiency; short rotation woody crops

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Renewable Natural Resources Louisiana State University Agricultural Center Baton Rouge LA 70803, Fax: (225) 578-4227, Email: 2: Department of Forestry Oklahoma State University Stillwater OK 74078 3: Plum Creek Timber Company 22 North Main St. Watkinsville GA 30677, Email:

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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.

    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
    Other SAF Publications
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