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Modeling the Effect of Midrotation Fertilization on Specific Gravity of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.)

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Abstract:

Ring specific gravity, earlywood and latewood specific gravity, and percent latewood were measured on cores collected at breast height from a thinned and fertilized midrotation loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation in the lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina. The study was laid out in a randomized complete block design receiving four levels of nitrogen (N) fertilizer in 1984: 000 (control), 112, 224, and 336 kg/ha plus 28 kg/ha of phosphorus with each treatment. A consistent pattern of response was observed in latewood specific gravity (LWSG) after the application of different levels of fertilizer and used as a variable for modeling. The LWSG profiles of unfertilized trees followed a nonlinear relation with ring number from pith. A three-parameter asymptotic function was used to explain the LWSG profile of unfertilized trees with ring number as a covariate. Application of N reduced LWSG and was modeled using a two-parameter response function with year since fertilization as a covariate and separate parameter estimates for each fertilization level. On the basis of the model, the magnitude of maximum cumulative response was −0.025, −0.049, and −0.074 attained at 3.7, 1.9, and 0.8 years after fertilization for the 112, 224, and 336 kg/ha treatments, respectively.

Keywords: mixed effect model; nonlinear model; repeated measure; wood density; wood properties

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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