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Title: Stand development and production dynamics of loblolly pine under a range of cultural treatments in north-central Florida USA

Author: Martin, Timothy A.; Jokela, Eric J.;

Date: 2004

Source: Forest Ecology and Management 192 (2004) 39-58

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of stand development and soil nutrient supply on processes affecting the productivity of loblolly pine (Pinux taeda L.) over a period approximately equal to a pulpwood rotation (18 years). The experiment consisted of a 2 x 2 factorial combination of complete and sustained weed control and annual fertilization treatments (C: control treatment, F: fertilization, W: weed control, FW: combined fertilization and weed control), located on a Spodosol in north-central Florida, USA. The reduction of soil nutrient limitations through fertilization or control of competing vegetation resulted in dramatic increases in almost every measure of productivity investigated, including height (19.7 m in the FW treatment versus 12.5 m in the C treatment at age 18 years), basal area (FW = 44.2 m2 ha-1, F = 39.6 m2 ha-1, W = 36.6 m2 ha-1, C = 19.9 m2 ha-1 at age 16 years), stemwood biomass accumulation (1 14 Mg ha-1 in FW versus 42.8 Mg ha-1 in C at age 18 years), foliar nitrogen concentration (1.53% in plots receiving fertilization versus 1.06% in unfertilized plots at age 17 years) and leaf area index (age 16-year peak projected of approximately 3.3 at age 9-10 years in F and FW plots, 2.5 in the W treatment and 1.5 in the C plots). Cultural treatments also decreased the growth ring early wood/late wood ratio, and accelerated the juvenile wood to mature wood transition. While soil nutrient supply was a major determinant of productivity, production changes that occurred within treatments over the course of stand development were equally dramatic. For example, between age 8 and 15 years, stemwood PA1 in the FW treatment declined by 275%; similarly large reductions occurred in the F and W treatments over the same time period. The reductions in PA1 in the treated plots were linearly related to stand BA, suggesting the decline in productivity was associated with the onset of inter-tree competition. Responses of stemwood PA1 to re-fertilization treatments at age 15 years suggests that the declines in growth and growth efficiency with time were partially attributable to nutrient limitations.

Keywords: Fertilization, competition, growth efficiency, leaf area development, even-aged stands, growth declines, vegetation control

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Martin, Timothy A.; Jokela, Eric J. 2004. Stand development and production dynamics of loblolly pine under a range of cultural treatments in north-central Florida USA. Forest Ecology and Management 192 (2004) 39-58

 


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