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    Description

    Phosphorus is widely deficient throughout the southern pine region of the United States. Growth responses to P fertilization are generally long-lasting in a wide range of soil types, but little is known about fertilization rates and long-term P cycling and availability. In 1982, exceptionally high P fertilization rates (0, 81, 162, and 324 kg P ha-1) were applied to a loamy Ultisol in central Louisiana, USA. We measured vegetation responses at age 27 years and sequentially extracted soil P to 1 m to elucidate potential P availability into the next rotation. Loblolly pine responded well to the lowest fertilization rate; total biomass was 39% greater in the fertilized plots compared to the unfertilized plots, but higher fertilization rates had no effect, presumably due to induced N-limitations. What little fertilizer P was found in the soils was in the moderately labile NaOH fraction in the surface 20 cm, and may be slowly available to the next pine rotation. Normal rates of P fertilizer will maintain elevated available P well into a second rotation in loamy Pleisteocene Ultisols of the western Gulf Coastal Plain. Exceptionally high rates were not effective at increasing potentially available P beyond normal rates.

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    Citation

    Scott, D. Andrew; Bliss, Christine M. 2012. Phosphorus fertilizer rate, soil P availability, and long-term growth response in a loblolly pine plantation on a weathered Ultisol. Forests. 3(4):1071-1085.

    Keywords

    loblolly pine, phosphorus fertilization, phosphorus fractionation

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/42274