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Tree-Soil Interactions Affect Production of Loblolly and Slash Pine

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Species-related differences in needle litter nutrient concentrations and subsequent N mineralization were examined in 17-year-old stands of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) at a common site. Results of this common-garden study indicate that a feedback may exist between foliar litter nutrient concentration and soil N mineralization. Net N mineralization (to 30 cm) was significantly greater in loblolly pine than in slash pine stands, which was attributed to greater litter nutrient concentrations in loblolly pine. Stand volume production was also greater in loblolly pine than in slash pine and was positively correlated with N mineralization. Although lower litter nutrient concentrations may have reduced productivity of slash pine relative to loblolly pine in this study, they may serve as a mechanism to increase the relative fitness of the species by lowering the soil nutrient availability below the optimum of loblolly pine.

Keywords: Pinus elliottii; Pinus taeda; fitness; needle litter; nitrogen mineralization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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.

    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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