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Long-term impacts of harvest residue management on nutrition, growth and productivity of an exotic pine plantation of sub-tropical Australia

Tutua, S.S. and Xu, Z.H. and Blumfield, T.J. and Bubb, K.A. (2008) Long-term impacts of harvest residue management on nutrition, growth and productivity of an exotic pine plantation of sub-tropical Australia. Forest Ecology and Management, 256 (4). pp. 741-748.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.05.029

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com

Abstract

Residue retention is an important issue in evaluating the sustainability of production forestry. However, its long-term impacts have not been studied extensively, especially in sub-tropical environments. This study investigated the long-term impact of harvest residue retention on tree nutrition, growth and productivity of a F1 hybrid (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii × Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis) exotic pine plantation in sub-tropical Australia, under three harvest residue management regimes: (1) residue removal, RR0; (2) single residue retention, RR1; and (3) double residue retention, RR2. The experiment, established in 1996, is a randomised complete block design with 4 replicates. Tree growth measurements in this study were carried out at ages 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 years, while foliar nutrient analyses were carried out at ages 2, 4, 6 and 10 years. Litter production and litter nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) measurements were carried out quarterly over a 15-month period between ages 9 and 10 years. Results showed that total tree growth was still greater in residue-retained treatments compared to the RR0 treatment. However, mean annual increments of diameter at breast height (MAID) and basal area (MAIB) declined significantly after age 4 years to about 68-78% at age 10 years. Declining foliar N and P concentrations accounted for 62% (p < 0.05) of the variation of growth rates after age 4 years, and foliar N and P concentrations were either marginal or below critical concentrations. In addition, litter production, and litter N and P contents were not significantly different among the treatments. This study suggests that the impact of residue retention on tree nutrition and growth rates might be limited over a longer period, and that the integration of alternative forest management practices is necessary to sustain the benefits of harvest residues until the end of the rotation.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:© Elsevier B.V.
Keywords:Exotic pine plantation; litter production; residue retention; tree growth; tree nutrition.
Subjects:Forestry > Forest soils
Forestry > Sylviculture
Deposited On:20 Jan 2009 02:49
Last Modified:28 Sep 2010 22:56

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