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Open AccessArticle

Nutrient Contribution of Litterfall in a Short Rotation Plantation of Pure or Mixed Plots of Populus alba L. and Robinia pseudoacacia L.

1
Forest Research Centre, National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (INIA-CIFOR), Crta, de la Coruña km 7.5, E-28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Sustainable Forest Management Group, University of Santiago de Compostela, C/Benigno Ledo s/n, E-27002 Lugo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(11), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111133
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 22 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 25 October 2020
This study aims to quantify the potential contribution of nutrients derived from leaf litter in a short rotation coppice plantation which includes monocultures of the species Populus alba (PA) and Robina pseudoacacia (RP) as well as a mixture of 50PA:50RP, in the middle of the rotation. The P. alba monoculture was that which provided the most leaf litter (3.37 mg ha−1 yr−1), followed by the 50PA:50RP mixture (2.82 mg ha−1 yr−1) and finally the R. pseudoacacia monoculture (2.55 mg ha−1 yr−1). In addition to producing more litterfall, leaves were shed later in the P. alba monoculture later (December) than in the R. pseudoacacia monoculture (October) or the mix (throughout the fall). In terms of macronutrient supply per hectare, the contributions derived from leaf litter were higher for K, P and Mg in the case of P. alba and for N in R. pseudoacacia, the mix presenting the highest Ca content and intermediate concentrations for the rest of the nutrients. In addition, other factors such as C:N or N:MO ratios, as well as the specific characteristics of the soil, can have an important impact on the final contribution of these inputs. The carbon contribution derived from leaf fall was higher in the P. alba monoculture (1.5 mg ha−1 yr−1), intermediate in the mixed plot (1.3 mg ha−1 yr−1) and slightly lower for the R. pseudoacacia monoculture (1.3 mg ha−1 yr−1). Given these different strategies of monocultures with regard to the dynamism of the main nutrients, species mixing would appear to be suitable option to achieve a potential reduction in mineral fertilization in these plantations. View Full-Text
Keywords: short rotation coppice (SRC); biomass; white poplar; black locust; monocultures; mixture; leaf litter short rotation coppice (SRC); biomass; white poplar; black locust; monocultures; mixture; leaf litter
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González, I.; Sixto, H.; Rodríguez-Soalleiro, R.; Oliveira, N. Nutrient Contribution of Litterfall in a Short Rotation Plantation of Pure or Mixed Plots of Populus alba L. and Robinia pseudoacacia L.. Forests 2020, 11, 1133.

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