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Title: Soil nutrient changes following whole tree harvesting on three northern hardwood sites

Abstract

Three northern hardwood stands were clearcut to evaluate the effect of whole tree harvesting on sites of varying quality. Stands were growing on sandy, outwash soils and had red maple (Acer rubrum) site indices of 15, 19, and 20 and biomass values of 114, 165, and 181 Mg/ha. Harvesting did not alter extractable soil P levels significantly on any site. Forest floor weights decreased to similar values on all sites 1.5 years after harvest. Nitrogen losses of over 1.3 Mg/ha occurred in the top meter of soil on all sites. This was attributed to the mixing of the forest floor with the surface mineral soil by the full tree skidding and the subsequent leaching of mineralized N. Soil exchangeable K decreased more than 1 Mg/ha on all sites. Changes in Ca and Mg were much smaller on the low and medium than on the high site. These losses from surface soil horizons are higher than reported previously for clearcutting northern hardwoods on till soils. The greatest impact of whole tree harvest on soil nutrients occurred on the better sites in this study rather than on the poor quality site. (Refs. 33.).

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan Technical Univ., Houghton, MI 49931, USA
OSTI Identifier:
6851852
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6851852
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.; (United States); Journal Volume: 49:6
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 09 BIOMASS FUELS; DEFORESTATION; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; NITROGEN; SOIL CHEMISTRY; PHOSPHORUS; COMMINUTION; LEACHING; MAPLES; SITE SURVEYS; CHEMISTRY; DISSOLUTION; ELEMENTS; NONMETALS; PLANTS; SEPARATION PROCESSES; TREES 510500* -- Environment, Terrestrial-- Site Resource & Use Studies-- (-1989); 140504 -- Solar Energy Conversion-- Biomass Production & Conversion-- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Mroz, G.D., Jurgensen, M.F., and Frederick, D.J.. Soil nutrient changes following whole tree harvesting on three northern hardwood sites. United States: N. p., 1985. Web. doi:10.2136/sssaj1985.03615995004900060044x.
Mroz, G.D., Jurgensen, M.F., & Frederick, D.J.. Soil nutrient changes following whole tree harvesting on three northern hardwood sites. United States. doi:10.2136/sssaj1985.03615995004900060044x.
Mroz, G.D., Jurgensen, M.F., and Frederick, D.J.. Tue . "Soil nutrient changes following whole tree harvesting on three northern hardwood sites". United States. doi:10.2136/sssaj1985.03615995004900060044x.
@article{osti_6851852,
title = {Soil nutrient changes following whole tree harvesting on three northern hardwood sites},
author = {Mroz, G.D. and Jurgensen, M.F. and Frederick, D.J.},
abstractNote = {Three northern hardwood stands were clearcut to evaluate the effect of whole tree harvesting on sites of varying quality. Stands were growing on sandy, outwash soils and had red maple (Acer rubrum) site indices of 15, 19, and 20 and biomass values of 114, 165, and 181 Mg/ha. Harvesting did not alter extractable soil P levels significantly on any site. Forest floor weights decreased to similar values on all sites 1.5 years after harvest. Nitrogen losses of over 1.3 Mg/ha occurred in the top meter of soil on all sites. This was attributed to the mixing of the forest floor with the surface mineral soil by the full tree skidding and the subsequent leaching of mineralized N. Soil exchangeable K decreased more than 1 Mg/ha on all sites. Changes in Ca and Mg were much smaller on the low and medium than on the high site. These losses from surface soil horizons are higher than reported previously for clearcutting northern hardwoods on till soils. The greatest impact of whole tree harvest on soil nutrients occurred on the better sites in this study rather than on the poor quality site. (Refs. 33.).},
doi = {10.2136/sssaj1985.03615995004900060044x},
journal = {Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 49:6,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1985},
month = {Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1985}
}
  • Intensive harvesting, whole-tree harvesting, and complete-tree utilization are being incorporated into management plans. Plants require sixteen or more nutrients. To determine impacts of intensive harvesting, research has begun to investigate nutrient losses associated with the removal of harvested material. Research efforts are focusing on quantifying direct nutrient loss from removal of additional biomass and identifying direct nutrient losses associated with whole-tree harvesting operations. An estimated 30-65% increase in biomass removal (from whole-tree harvesting operations as opposed to stem-only harvests) is accompanied by a 100-215% increase in nutrient removal. Whole-tree harvesting of hardwoods doubles the removal of nutrients from stem-only harvests.more » The significance of direct nutrient loss is not agreed upon. Some studies indicate that while stem-only harvests remove nutrients at rates replenishable from other sources, there is insufficient data to determine if whole-tree harvesing results in losses which exceed the system's natural replenishing capacity. Two projects in New England will contribute to understanding of nutrient loss. Ecosystem Effects of Whole-Tree Harvesting in New England: This study in spruce-fir stands in northern Maine, northern hardwood in New Hampshire, and central hardwoods in Connecticut is desiged to qualify nutrient loss from biomass removal and leaching; identify changes in the forest floor and deadwood following harvesting; evaluate changes in nitrogen availability; study nutrient capital, and develop a nutrient budget. Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: In addition to research in litter accumulation and decomposition and nitrogen cycling, the National Science Foundation is funding a study on the impacts of whole-tree harvesting on the forest ecosystem. Both projects should be completed by 1987. (Refs. 27).« less
  • Low quality, upland mixed broadleaved/pine stands in the Upper Piedmont of Georgia were whole-tree harvested to 1-inch or 4-inch diameter limits in January or June 1980. Broadleaved coppice shoots and natural pine regeneration (Pinus taeda, jP. echinata) were observed in October 1981 and April 1982 respectively. Early pine establishment was very good following 1-inch winter harvest (7709 pine stems/acre), acceptable after 4-inch winter harvest (1829 stems/acre) and very poor after summer harvest (17-34 stems/acre). The treatment producing the best pine regeneration also produced the greatest number of braodleaved shoots. 12 references.
  • Concentrations of selected cations and anions were determined in soil solutions from a forested site in southern New Hampshire during the first growing season after surface application of an aerobically digested, limed, liquid municipal sludge. Sludge was applied in June 1989 at 0, 3.3, 6.9, and 14.5 Mg ha{sup -1}, which corresponded to 199, 396, and 740 kg N ha{sup -1} as total Kjeldahl N (TKN). Porous, suction-cup lysimeters were used to sample soil solutions below the rooting zone ({approximately}60 cm) within subplots designed to include (untrenched) or exclude (trenched) uptake by vegetation. Following sludge application, measured solute concentrations remainedmore » low until September 1989, when NO{sub 3}, Cl, Ca, Mg, Na, and K in trenched subplots increased simultaneously to maximum values in October or November 1989, just before the soil froze for the winter. Nitrate was the dominant anion in soil solutions from trenched subplots and averaged in excess of 0.71 mmol L{sup -1} (10 mg L{sup -1} NO{sub 3}-N) at all loading rates. Highest concentrations of NO{sub 3} occurred on subplots with the highest sludge application rates. In the entrenched areas, NO{sub 3} concentrations rarely exceeded 0.001 mmol L{sup -1}; Cl increased in treated areas and was the dominant anion by the end of the season. Soil solution NH{sub 4}, PO{sub 4}, SO{sub 4} K, and pH did not change significantly for any sludge application rate. Comparison of results from trenched and untrenched areas suggests that, at application rates of up to 14.5 Mg ha{sup -1 }(799 kg TKN ha{sup -1}), a combination of physical, chemical, and biological factors (most likely plant uptake) limited the movement of sludge or sludge-derived constituents from the sites of application. 37 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.« less
  • Whole-tree harvesting of a northern hardwood stand in New Hampshire removed an average of 111 dry metric tons/ha of biomass, representing 96% of the aboveground total. Nutrient removal in harvested trees averaged 344, 242, 128, and 19 kg/ha for Ca, N, K, and P, respectively. The nutrients removed were between 2 and 3% of estimated total soil capital for Ca and N, and about 1% of total soil capital for K and P. Of estimated available nutrient capital, the removals were 30% for Ca and 85% for K. The harvest was carried out on the lower 40% of a 16-hamore » watershed. Concentrations of NO/sub 3/, Ca, and K in soil solution and streamflow of the harvested watershed increased for 1 1/2 to 2 years. Streamflow concentrations increased by a maximum of 3, 1, and 0.2 mg/liter for NO/sub 3/, Ca, and K, respectively. Increased loss of N and Ca by leaching to streams is estimated at more than 40 kg/ha. NO/sub 3/ in soil solution increased from background levels of 1 mg/liter to a maximum of 95 mg/liter. Ca increased from background levels of 2 mg/liter to a maximum of 19 mg/liter. Concentrations of both ions returned to background levels by the third growing season after harvest. The increases in nutrient ions in streams and soil solution are thought to result from increased mineralization and nitrification immediately after harvest. The harvested area has regenerated rapidly with pioneer and commercial species, perhaps partly because of the enriched soil solution. Nutrient removals and leaching losses by themselves do not seem to deplete total nutrient capital significantly. However, the impacts of whole-tree harvesting upon the processes, mechanisms, and rates by which nutrients are made available for future stnads are still of concern. 25 references.« less
  • From fall, 1983, through spring, 1984, an experimental watershed at the Hubbard Brook Experimental forest in New Hampshire was commercially whole-tree harvested. Stream chemistry was monitored along an elevational gradient for approximately 1 yr prior to and 2 yr following the treatment in both the experimental watershed and adjacent reference watershed. Whole-tree harvesting initially resulted in a large increase in stream NO/sub 3//sup -/ and basic cation (Ca/sup 2 +/, Mg/sup 2 +/, Na/sup +/, and K/sup +/) concentrations and a decrease in stream sulfate concentrations. A decrease in pH and increase in Al concentrations followed. Elevational trends in streammore » chemistry were qualitatively similar before and after the cut, although the absolute concentrations of solutes changed markedly. These responses are explained by increased soil nitrification coupled with decreased vegetative uptake following the whole-tree harvest. Acidity generated by nitrification facilitated the mobilization of basic cations and increased anion adsorption. When NO/sub 3//sup -/ production exceeded the release of basic cations, stream pH declined and Al concentrations increased. Aluminum was released in an entirely inorganic form resulting in potentially toxic concentrations in stream water.« less