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Diversity 2011, 3(4), 712-720; doi:10.3390/d3040712
Article

Ecological Impact on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling of a Widespread Fast-growing Leguminous Tropical Forest Plantation Tree Species, Acacia mangium

*  and
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kyushu Research Center/4-11-16 Kurokami, Kumamoto city, Kumamoto 860-0862, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2011 / Revised: 14 November 2011 / Accepted: 21 November 2011 / Published: 28 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Forest Dynamics and Functions)
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Abstract

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is one of the major pathways of N input to forest ecosystems, enriching N availability, particularly in lowland tropics. Recently there is growing concern regarding the wide areas of fast-growing leguminous plantations that could alter global N2O emissions. Here, we highlight substantially different N and phosphorus utilization and cycling at a plantation of Acacia mangium, which is N2-fixing and one of the major plantation species in tropical/subtropical Asia. The litterfall, fresh leaf quality and fine-root ingrowth of A. mangium were compared to those of non-N2-fixing Swietenia macrophylla and coniferous Araucaria cunninghamii in wet tropical climates in Borneo, Malaysia. The N and P concentrations of the A. mangium fresh leaves were higher than those of the other two species, whereas the P concentration in the leaf-litterfall of A. mangium was less than half that of the others; in contrast the N concentration was higher. The N:P ratio in the A. mangium leaf was markedly increased from fresh-leaf (29) to leaf-litterfall (81). Although the N flux in the total litterfall at the A. mangium plantation was large, the fine-root ingrowth of A. mangium significantly increased by applying both N and P. In conclusion, large quantities of N were accumulated and returned to the forest floor in A. mangium plantation, while its P resorption capacity was efficient. Such large N cycling and restricted P cycling in wide areas of monoculture A. mangium plantations may alter N and P cycling and their balance in the organic layer and soil on a stand level.
Keywords: litterfall; resorption; fine-root ingrowth; nutrient application; N:P ratio litterfall; resorption; fine-root ingrowth; nutrient application; N:P ratio
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Inagaki, M.; Ishizuka, S. Ecological Impact on Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling of a Widespread Fast-growing Leguminous Tropical Forest Plantation Tree Species, Acacia mangium. Diversity 2011, 3, 712-720.

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