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Leaching Potential with Diammonium Phosphate and Poultry Litter Fertilization of Young Pine Plantations in the Florida Sandhills

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Nutrient use and leaching potential using diammonium phosphate (DAP) or poultry litter fertilizers in 2-year-old plantations of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), and longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) were examined for 3 years at a study location having sandy, excessively drained soils and high leaching potential. Fertilization with litter resulted in greater height and diameter growth than the unfertilized control in loblolly pine, but not for the other species. Measures of soil matrix nitrate + nitrite nitrogen (NOX-N) concentration at various depths in stands of the three species and in soil solution from lysimeter extracts in slash pine stands indicated significant leaching from litter or DAP. Litter fertilization elevated NH4-N concentrations in soil solution at a 30-cm depth when measured at 3 and 6 weeks after fertilization, whereas soil matrix NH4-N was unchanged. Following litter fertilization, soil matrix P, Ca, and Mg concentrations in the uppermost 15 cm were significantly greater than the control. Fertilization with litter increased soil K, and it was detected at the 120-cm depth by 4 months. Groundwater NOx-N concentrations in wells monitoring the fertilized area were at maximum 2.7 mg L−1 greater than a distant background well.
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Keywords: groundwater; nitrogen leaching; nutrient use; pine fertilization; soil solution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2012

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