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Prescribed Burning and Nutrient Cycling Relationships in Young Loblolly Pine Plantations

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Prescribed burning of young unthinned plantations of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in the South Carolina Piedmont significantly reduced the quantity of individual nutrients in the L layer, but not the F + H layers of the forest floor. Burning reduced the weight of the L layer by 60 percent but the weight of the combined F + H layers was unaffected by the relatively fast-moving strip-head fires. Nutrient losses by ash convection from the L layer during the prescribed fire ranged from 3.6 lbs/ac for P to 23.1 lbs/ac for N. Some impaction of nutrients released in burning on pine canopies was detected by analysis of throughfall and stemflow. However, quantities of nutrients intercepted and released by the canopy are small when compared to nutrient transfer by leaf fall and precipitation. The canopy and stems markedly altered the nutrient concentrations of intercepted precipitation.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Forestry, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Publication date: 1980-08-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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