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Nitrogen dynamics post-harvest: the role of woody residuesAuthor(s): Kathryn Piatek
Source: e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 129-134 [CD-ROM].
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe role of woody residues in N dynamics in harvested forests has not been fully elucidated. Woody residues have been found to be an N sink, N source, and N neutral in different studies. To understand the implications of each of these scenarios, post-harvest N dynamics in high- and no- woody residue treatments were modeled for a Douglas-fir ecosystem. Nitrogen mineralization in the combined forest floor, soil (to 15 cm depth), and root pools was 122 and 121, kg N/ha/year, in years 1 and 2 after harvest, independent of treatment. When wood was an N sink, 23 kg N/ha/year could be immobilized annually, and about 80 and 100 percent of the N available from forest floor, soil, and roots remained plant or leaching available in high- and no- woody residue treatments, respectively. When wood was a source of N, an additional 12 kg N/ha/year became available from wood in high residue, and 0 in no residue treatment. When wood was neutral, 100 percent of the N mineralized after harvest was plant and/or leaching available in both treatments. Empirical evidence is still necessary to confirm which scenario operates in various forest ecosystems. Implications of these different scenarios for N-saturated ecosystems of the central Appalachians are that as N sink, woody residues could potentially help decrease N exports as nitrate. As N source, woody residues could contribute to N exports. As neutral, woody residues would allow exports of N as they currently occur. This paper reflects on the dynamics of N and woody residues in the Appalachian hardwood forests and provide hypothetical comparisons between these dynamics in western coniferous forests and eastern hardwood forests.
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CitationPiatek, Kathryn. 2007. Nitrogen dynamics post-harvest: the role of woody residues. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 129-134 [CD-ROM].
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