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    Nitrogen (N) fertilizer management in young hardwood plantations is difficult due to our lack of understanding of the site-specific mechanisms that control tree response. Differences in landuse history and soil characteristics can alter the plant response to added N considerably. Foliage biomass, N content, N concentration, resorption, and soil N supply characteristics were measured on two 4 year-old sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) plantations in South Carolina that represent different landuse histories and soil types. Fertilizer responses were much greater overall on a poorly drained pine cutover site compared to a well-drained ag field. Vector analysis and analysis of variance indicated that fertilization increased foliage biomass, N content, N concentration, and leaf area on the cutover site, but only increased foliar N content on the ag site. Foliar responses were negatively related to actual soil N supply, but not potentially mineralizable or total N. N fertilizer recommendations must be site-specific, and an accurate estimate of soil N supply is essential for increasing fertilization efficiency.

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    Scott, D. Andrew; Kaczmarek, Donald J.; Burger, James A.; Kane, Michael B. 2002. Sweetgum Response to Nitrogen Fertilization on Sites of Different Quality and Land Use History. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 227-232

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