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Intensive Harvesting and Site Preparation Decrease Soil Nitrogen Availability in Young Plantations

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Intensive harvesting and site preparation remove large amounts of nitrogen and other nutrients. The effects of these removals on the nitrogen-supplying power of remaining soil were examined in five 1- to 5-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation trials. Whole-tree harvest and shear-pile-disk site preparation reduced nitrogen availability relative to stem-only harvest and chop-and-burn preparation. Net nitrogen mineralization during 30-day incubation averaged 7.8 g N/g of soil in stem-only/chopped plots in the two youngest sites; the corresponding value in the whole-tree/ shear-pile-disk sites was 4.2 g N/g of soil. Herbicide applications were associated with increased nitrogen availability up to 3 years after the last application.ยน

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research scientist, Ames Research Center, NASA, Moffett Field, California 94305

Publication date: May 1, 1985

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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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