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

Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Bordeaux Sciences Agro, UMR 13913 INRA, Gradignan Cedex 33175, France
Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36840, USA
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
Forests 2015, 6(6), 2014-2028;
Received: 24 April 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
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
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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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