Skip to Main Content
Soil nitrogen transformations under alternative management strategies in Appalachian forestsAuthor(s): T. Adam Coates; Ralph E.J. Boerner; Thomas A. Waldrop; Daniel A. Yaussy
Source: Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 72(2): 558-565
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (325 KB)
DescriptionOnce subject to frequent fire and strongly N limited, the forests of the Appalachian Mountain region of eastern North America have experienced almost a century of fire suppression, and changes in tree species composition, understory density and composition, and accumulations of detritus have paralleled the changes in fire frequency. In an effort to restore these ecosystems and reduce wildfire hazard, alternative management strategies (prescribed fire, mechanical fuel reduction, and a combination of both) were implemented at study sites in Ohio and North Carolina as part of the Fire and Fire Surrogate Network Study. As changes in N cycling resulting from these treatments could have potential negative impacts on forest health that might limit their usefulness as management alternatives, we monitored treatment effects on extractable total inorganic N (TIN), net N mineralization, net nitrification, and proportional nitrification during the growing season before treatment, the first growing season after treatment, and the third or fourth growing season after treatment. Mechanical treatment resulted in increases in extractable TIN, N mineralization, and nitrification during the first post-treatment year in Ohio and TIN was greater in the mechanical treatment and the mechanical + fire treatment during the third post-treatment year in North Carolina. Net N mineralization was reduced by fi re alone in Ohio, but not in North Carolina. Nitrogen transformation rates were 2- to 10-fold higher in Ohio than North Carolina, a difference that may partly result from of the ericaceous shrub understory present in North Carolina but not in Ohio. Impacts of these treatments on N transformations were modest and for the most part transient, and would therefore not eliminate these treatments as viable management strategies for wildfire hazard reduction or ecosystem restoration.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationCoates, T. Adam; Boerner, Ralph E.J.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Yaussy, Daniel A. 2008. Soil nitrogen transformations under alternative management strategies in Appalachian forests. Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 72(2): 558-565
- Soil nitrogen transformations under alternative management strategies in Appalachian forests
- Soil nitrogen mineralization and enzymatic activities in fire and fire surrogate treatments in California
- Influences of thinning, prescribed burning, and wildfire on soil processes and properties in southwestern ponderosa pine forests: A retrospective study
XML: View XML