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Nitrogen Alters Initial Growth, Fine-Root Biomass and Soil Organic Matter Properties of a Eucalyptus dunnii Maiden Plantation in a Recently Afforested Grassland in Southern Brazil

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Departamento de Solos, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Av. PH Rolfs, s/n, Viçosa, MG 36570-900, Brazil
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Departamento de Ciências Florestais, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Campus UFLA, Lavras, MG 37200-000, Brazil
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Programa de Pós-Graduação em Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Av. Marechal Rondon, s/n, São Cristóvão, SE 49100-000, Brazil
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Departamento de Geografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Centro de Ensino Superior do Seridó, Rua Joaquim Gregório, s/n, Caicó, RN 59300-000, Brazil
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CMPC Celulose Riograndense, Rua São Geraldo, 1680, Guaíba, RS 92500-000, Brazil
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020062
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Nitrogen (N) fertilization effects on Eucalyptus growth and soil carbon (C) stocks are still controversial. We set up an N fertilization experiment in southern Brazil to evaluate initial tree growth and changes in soil organic matter (SOM). Four N levels (24–Reference, 36, 48 and 108 kg ha−1 of N) were tested and tree growth was assessed during the first two years. Afterwards, representative trees were chosen to evaluate fine-root biomass (FRB) and its spatial distribution. Soil was sampled to a 40-cm depth and SOM was fractionated in Particulate (POM) and Mineral-Associated Organic Matter (MAOM) for C and N content, and δ13C determination. Positive N effect on tree growth was seen only for tree height. N addition resulted in higher FRB. Changes in SOM were more expressive in top-soil layers. Overall, afforestation had positive effects on soil C. Increasing reference N dose resulted in higher C and N content in both SOM fractions. C and N dynamics were tightly correlated, especially in MAOM. Eucalypt-derived C was on average three-fold higher in POM. In summary, we showed that N fertilization may have positive but limited effects on tree growth, nevertheless it enhances fine-root biomass and C and N accumulation in SOM pools. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use change; nitrogen fertilization; Eucalyptus fine-root spatial distribution; SOM pools land use change; nitrogen fertilization; Eucalyptus fine-root spatial distribution; SOM pools
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Ferreira, G.W.D.; Oliveira, F.C.C.; Silva, L.O.G.; Souza, J.J.L.L.; Soares, E.M.B.; Araújo, E.F.; Silva, I.R. Nitrogen Alters Initial Growth, Fine-Root Biomass and Soil Organic Matter Properties of a Eucalyptus dunnii Maiden Plantation in a Recently Afforested Grassland in Southern Brazil. Forests 2018, 9, 62.

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