Forests 2013, 4(1), 137-154; doi:10.3390/f4010137
Article

Early Effects of Afforestation with Willow (Salix purpurea, “Hotel”) on Soil Carbon and Nutrient Availability

1 Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A8, Canada 2 Department of Science and Technology, University of Quebec, 5800 Saint-Denis Street, Office 1105, Montreal, QC, H2S 3L5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2012; in revised form: 8 February 2013 / Accepted: 25 February 2013 / Published: 12 March 2013
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [1622 KB, uploaded 12 March 2013 15:48 CET]
Abstract: Willow (Salix spp.) is currently being researched as a source of biomass energy in Canada. However, it is not certain whether afforestation with willow plantations will enhance or diminish soil C storage and nutrient availability. Trees are known to have pronounced effects on biologically mediated nutrient cycling processes which can increase nutrient availability, but willows are known to be nutrient demanding. In this paper, the net effect of plantation establishment is examined at nine sites across the prairie and southern Ontario regions of Canada. Carbon, N, P, K, Ca and Mg levels in soils and harvestable biomass were compared between willow plantations and paired reference sites at the end of the first three-year rotation. Soils were depleted in total C (−2.22 mg·g−1, p < 0.05), inorganic N (−3.12 μg·N·g−1, p < 0.10), exchangeable K (−0.11 cmolc·kg−1, p < 0.10) and leachable P (−0.03 mg·g−1, p < 0.10). Exchangeable Ca was found to be consistently depleted only at the 20–40 depth. Depletion of soil K was more heavily influenced by disturbance, whereas soil N was directly affected by willow N uptake. Sites with greater growth and biocycling stabilized soil P concentrations.
Keywords: biomass energy; short rotation intensive culture; Salix; fast growth; carbon sequestration; soil nutrient depletion; base cations; nitrogen; phosphorus

Article Statistics

Load and display the download statistics.

Citations to this Article

Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ens, J.; Farrell, R.E.; Bélanger, N. Early Effects of Afforestation with Willow (Salix purpurea, “Hotel”) on Soil Carbon and Nutrient Availability. Forests 2013, 4, 137-154.

AMA Style

Ens J, Farrell RE, Bélanger N. Early Effects of Afforestation with Willow (Salix purpurea, “Hotel”) on Soil Carbon and Nutrient Availability. Forests. 2013; 4(1):137-154.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ens, Joels; Farrell, Richard E.; Bélanger, Nicolas. 2013. "Early Effects of Afforestation with Willow (Salix purpurea, “Hotel”) on Soil Carbon and Nutrient Availability." Forests 4, no. 1: 137-154.

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert