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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342397

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Cellulosic industrial waste to enhance Pinus taeda nutrition and growth: a study in subtropical Brazil

item SASS, ANNE LUIZE - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item BASSICO, MARCOS - Fatifajar College
item MOTTA, ANTONIA - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item MAEDA, SHIZUO - Embrapa
item BARBOSA, JULIERME - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item BOGNOLA, ITAMAR - Embrapa
item BOSCO, JOAO - Embrapa
item GOULARTE, GABRIEL - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Prior, Stephen - Steve

Submitted to: Scientia Forestalis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2019
Publication Date: 7/23/2020
Citation: Sass, A., Bassico, M.V., Motta, A.C., Maeda, S., Barbosa, J.Z., Bognola, I.A., Bosco, J.V., Goularte, G.D., Prior, S.A. 2020. Cellulosic industrial waste to enhance Pinus taeda nutrition and growth: a study in subtropical Brazil. Scientia Forestalis. 48(126): e3165.

Interpretive Summary: The application of compost (cellulosic sludge - 70% and boiler ash - 30%) to the soil surface promoted P. taeda growth (height, DBH, basal area, and trunk volume) under low soil fertility conditions in southern Brazil. There pine needle analysis indicated improvement in the nutritional status of P. taeda. There were clear indications that Mn and K were more closely related to growth increase. Soil analysis showed no constant improvement in the evaluated parameters and provided little explanation for effects observed in the field. Overall, findings suggest that the application of paper industry wastes to sites used to establish P. taeda plantations is an interesting alternative for recycling residues from pulp industry production. Besides providing a destination for these residues, applications will favor tree growth and contribute to a more sustainable management of low fertility soils.

Technical Abstract: Pinus taeda in Brazil has been planted in soil with very low fertility and without fertilizer. Since paper industries generate large amounts of nutrient-rich residue that requires adequate disposal, a study was conducted in southern Brazil to evaluate the effects of a compost (cellulosic sludge - 70% and boiler ash - 30%) on P. taeda growth. Six months after seedling transplant (June 2011), five rates (control, 14, 25, 49 and 60 Mg ha-1) of compost were manually broadcast. For the following three years, soil and needle samples were collected for nutrient analysis along with plant growth parameter measurements [plant height, diameter at breast height (DBH), basal area, and trunk volume]. Soil analysis indicated a small increase in K availability and a decrease in exchangeable Al. Large growth enhancements were observed in terms of plant height and DBH, and needle chlorosis disappeared when compost was applied to this low fertility soil. In 2014, trunk volume increased from 19 m3 ha-1 in the control to 52.0 m3 ha-1 in the 50 Mg ha-1 treatment. Compost application decreased needle Mn concentration by half in the three year evaluation, while concentrations of K, Ca, and B increased in at least two of the years. P. taeda growth was inversely related to Mn and directly related to K and B concentration. Findings suggest that compost application should be encouraged since it enhances initial growth of P. taeda in soil of very low fertility.