Multi-rotation impacts of increased organic matter removal in planted forests

S.J Smaill, L.G Garrett
2016 Journal of soil science and plant nutrition  
Organic matter cycling is critical to nutrient supply in forested ecosystems. Harvesting influences future nutrient supply by removing organic matter, but the extent of removal varies with harvesting methods. In New Zealand plantations there is little long-term data to help evaluate the relative impact of these methods on the sustainability of site productivity. To explore this issue a modelling study was initiated using the NuBalM platform to simulate the response of forest nitrogen (N) pools
more » ... nitrogen (N) pools and the productivity of Pinus radiata D. Don to the consisten removal of different amounts of organic matter at harvest over multiple 30 year rotations across a range of growth trajectories. The harvesting method involving the greatest amount of organic matter removal (OMR) induced significant reductions in N pools and productivity by the end of the second rotation, while moderate OMR induced reductions by the end of the third rotation. Minimal OMR reduced N pools but not productivity by the end of the fourth rotation. This exploratory work suggests that management practices which influence the amount of organic matter on site can play an important role in long-term productivity and should be considered in further risk based management decision making.
doi:10.4067/s0718-95162016005000023 fatcat:iq25b76ku5fq3nefaeprmrddg4