2020 journal article

Mid-rotation response of Pinus taeda to early silvicultural treatments in subtropical Argentina


By: M. Schulte n, R. Cook n, T. Albaugh*, H. Allen, R. Rubilar*, R. Pezzutti, S. Lucia Caldato*, O. Campoe*, D. Carter*

author keywords: Loblolly pine; Site preparation; Fertilization; Weed control; Bedding; Subsoiling; Exotic Pine Plantation; Subtropical Argentina; Red soils
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
13. Climate Action (Web of Science)
15. Life on Land (Web of Science)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 10, 2020

Pinus taeda plantations in subtropical areas of South America are extremely productive and commonly established on well-drained red clay sites. In the past, land with more poorly-drained soil was avoided due to concern over the factors limiting site productivity. Establishment of intensively managed plantations on poorly-drained soils usually includes soil preparation by subsoiling and/or bedding, weed control, and fertilization. However, forest managers lack information about the efficacy of early silvicultural practices to ameliorate environmental limitations and if these intensive practices generate long-term improvements in productivity in this area. Consequently, we established studies in northeastern Argentina on two sites differing by drainage class and soil texture as a full factorial design with site preparation (S; disking and disking + subsoiling (red clay) or bedding (wet loam)), fertilization (F; none or 78 kg ha−1 elemental phosphorus at planting), and weed control (W; none or two-year banded). Seven years after planting, the red clay and wet loam sites were equally productive, with maximum treatment means of 218 m3 ha−1 and 264 m3 ha−1 respectively. At the red clay site, only weed control significantly increased volume. At the wet loam site, both weed control and site preparation significantly increased volume, mainly due to increased survival. The combination of weed control and bedding yielded a non-additive volume response as indicated by a significant W*S interaction. Our results do not support the common practice of subsoiling on red clay soils. In addition, fertilization with P alone appears counterproductive or unneeded at both sites.