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Forests 2015, 6(6), 2014-2028; doi:10.3390/f6062014

A Range-Wide Experiment to Investigate Nutrient and Soil Moisture Interactions in Loblolly Pine Plantations

1
Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
2
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
4
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
5
Bordeaux Sciences Agro, UMR 13913 INRA, Gradignan Cedex 33175, France
6
Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
7
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
8
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36840, USA
9
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Harrison
Received: 24 April 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
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Abstract

The future climate of the southeastern USA is predicted to be warmer, drier and more variable in rainfall, which may increase drought frequency and intensity. Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) is the most important commercial tree species in the world and is planted on ~11 million ha within its native range in the southeastern USA. A regional study was installed to evaluate effects of decreased rainfall and nutrient additions on loblolly pine plantation productivity and physiology. Four locations were established to capture the range-wide variability of soil and climate. Treatments were initiated in 2012 and consisted of a factorial combination of throughfall reduction (approximate 30% reduction) and fertilization (complete suite of nutrients). Tree and stand growth were measured at each site. Results after two growing seasons indicate a positive but variable response of fertilization on stand volume increment at all four sites and a negative effect of throughfall reduction at two sites. Data will be used to produce robust process model parameterizations useful for simulating loblolly pine growth and function under future, novel climate and management scenarios. The resulting improved models will provide support for developing management strategies to increase pine plantation productivity and carbon sequestration under a changing climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pinus taeda; volume increment; throughfall exclusion; fertilization; nitrogen; phosphorus Pinus taeda; volume increment; throughfall exclusion; fertilization; nitrogen; phosphorus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Will, R.E.; Fox, T.; Akers, M.; Domec, J.-C.; González-Benecke, C.; Jokela, E.J.; Kane, M.; Laviner, M.A.; Lokuta, G.; Markewitz, D.; McGuire, M.A.; Meek, C.; Noormets, A.; Samuelson, L.; Seiler, J.; Strahm, B.; Teskey, R.; Vogel, J.; Ward, E.; West, J.; Wilson, D.; Martin, T.A. A Range-Wide Experiment to Investigate Nutrient and Soil Moisture Interactions in Loblolly Pine Plantations. Forests 2015, 6, 2014-2028.

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