2016 journal article

Nitrogen availability and mineralization in Pinus radiata stands fertilized mid-rotation at three contrasting sites

Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 16(1), 118–136.

By: M. Ramirez, R. Rubilar, C. Montes, J. Stape n, T. Fox* & H. Allen n

Source: NC State University Libraries
Added: August 6, 2018

Fertilization of Pinus radiata plantations mid-rotation after thinning can alter soil nitrogen availability. However, the magnitudes and durations of tree and stand growth responses are not well understood across different soils with specific site conditions. Two mid-rotation fertilization trials in Pinus radiata plantations with unexpected sustained growth responses for more than 6 years and volume gains of 25 m3ha-1 and 50 m3 ha-1 in sandy and granitic soil, respectively, and one trial with no response to fertilization were selected to study the monthly dynamics of nitrogen availability and net mineralization using in situ core incubations. After 2 years, the results showed that fertilization increased nitrogen mineralization and availability until 6 years in sandy soils and until 7 years in granitic soil following fertilization. This result explained the sustained stand growth response observed at these sites. When considering the magnitude of the response, large increases in mineralization rates and soil N availability were observed in the granitic soil relative to the sandy soil. Our results suggest that stands with available N-(NH4+ + NO3-) levels less than 2 kg ha-1 during spring and fall months or with N-(NO3-) levels lower than 0.2 kg ha-1 during any month may respond to N fertilization.