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Sediment and nutrient losses from exotic Pinus plantation management operations under simulated rainfall

Forsyth, A.R., Bubb, K.A. and Cox, M.E. (2006) Sediment and nutrient losses from exotic Pinus plantation management operations under simulated rainfall. Australian Forestry, 69 (1). pp. 58-67.

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Publisher URL: http://www.forestry.org.au/default.asp


Rainfall simulation experiments were carried out to measure runoff and soil water fluxes of suspended solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon and total iron from sites in Pinus plantations on the coastal lowlands of south-eastern Queensland subjected to various operations (treatments). The operations investigated were cultivated and nil-cultivated site preparation, fertilised site preparation, clearfall harvesting and prescribed burning; these treatments were compared with an 8-y-old established plantation. Flow-weighted mean concentrations of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in surface runoff from the cultivated and nil-cultivated site-preparation, clearfall harvest, prescribed burning and 8-y-old established plantation treatments were very similar. However, both the soil water and the runoff from the fertilised site preparation treatment contained more nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) than the other treatments - with 3.10 mg N L-1 and 4.32 mg P L-1 (4 and 20 times more) in the runoff. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations in runoff from the nil-cultivated site-preparation and prescribed burn treatments were elevated. Iron concentrations were highest in runoff from the nil-cultivated site-preparation and 8-y-old established plantation treatments. Concentrations of suspended solids in runoff were higher from cultivated site preparation and prescribed burn treatments, and reflect the great disturbance of surface soil at these sites. The concentrations of all analytes were highest in initial runoff from plots, and generally decreased with time. Total nitrogen (mean 7.28, range 0.11-13.27 mg L-1) and total phosphorus (mean 11.60, range 0.06-83.99 mg L-1) concentrations in soil water were between 2 and 10 times greater than in surface runoff, which highlights the potential for nutrient fluxes in interflow (i.e. in the soil above the water table) through the general plantation area. Implications in regard to forest management are discussed, along with results of larger catchment-scale studies.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:© Institute of Foresters of Australia.
Keywords:Nitrogen; nutrients; organic carbon; phosphorus; Pinus; rainfall simulators; runoff; sediment; water quality.
Subjects:Forestry > Forest soils
Live Archive:30 Oct 2008 06:19
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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