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The Nutrient Cycle: Key to Continuous Forest Production

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Nutrient conservation should be considered along with methods for increasing biomass harvests. In a 16-year-old loblolly pine plantation, harvesting the aerial portion and larger roots of trees removes 12 percent of the total N, 8 percent of the extractable P, and 31 percent of the extractable K from the site. Only one-third the quantity of nutrients are removed by harvesting only debarked pulpwood. There is an optimum annual biomass production on each site that depends on nutrient availability, in addition to other growth amenities. Management practices that take the nutrient cycle into account may be the most advantageous economically over one or more rotations.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Soil Scientists, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Publication date: July 1, 1975

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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