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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400216

Research Project: Sustaining Productivity and Ecosystem Services of Agricultural and Horticultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Wood production and nutritional status of Pinus taeda L. in response to fertilization and liming: a meta-analysis of the Americas

Author
item DOS SANTOS RODRIGUES, VALDÉCIO - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item MOTTA, ANTÔNIO - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item BARBOSA, JULIERME - Federal University Of Minas Gerais
item ERCOLE, TAMIRES - Universidade Federal Do Parana
item Prior, Stephen - Steve

Submitted to: iForest
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2023
Publication Date: 7/25/2023
Citation: Rodrigues, V., Motta, A.C., Barbosa, J.Z., Ercole, T.M., Prior, S.A. 2023. Wood production and nutritional status of Pinus taeda L. in response to fertilization and liming: a meta-analysis of the Americas. iForest. 16(4):195-201. https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4296-016.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4296-016

Interpretive Summary: Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is one of the most planted forest species in the Americas. This study performed a meta-analysis of the Americas based on 44 publications (1970-2022) of loblolly fertilization under field conditions. Fertilization and liming increased loblolly wood production due to increased plant height and trunk diameter. Production benefits were associated with more root growth, improved nutritional status and increased litter deposition that can impact forest nutrient cycling. Fertilization efficiency was similar for applications at planting and on established sites (2 to 8 years). The most expressive tree response occurred with organic waste residue applications (vs fertilization with mineral sources). When evaluating only mineral fertilization, multiple nutrients supplied by joint fertilizer and lime use was the most beneficial strategy. Loblolly on sandy soils (<15% clay) was more responsive to fertilization. These meta-analysis findings could be a useful guide for fertility practices in areas destined for reforestation with loblolly pine, aiming to guarantee greater sustainability of these systems.

Technical Abstract: Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is one of the most planted forest species in the Americas. Since few studies have comprehensively assessed loblolly pine responses to fertilization, the present study performed a meta-analysis of the Americas based on 44 publications (1970-2022) of loblolly pine fertilization under field conditions. In general, fertilization increased root dry matter (+33%), litter (+21%), plant height (+6%), trunk diameter (+9%), wood yield (+30%), and needle concentrations of P (+9%), K (+36%), Ca (+17%), Mg (+14%), and S (+12%). Wood production was higher with organic residue fertilization, primarily with use of composite residues (cellulosic sludge + ash), compared to mineral fertilization. In regards to mineral applications, wood production was higher when multiple nutrients were added from fertilization and liming operations. Applications at planting (< 1 year) or on established trees (2-8 years), showed similar increases in wood production with higher responses occurring on sandy soils. These factors generally increased needle nutrient concentrations, except for no alteration or slight decreases in N under most conditions. The present study revealed loblolly pine responses to contrasting application strategies, which can help identify efficient fertility management practices for this commercially significant tree species.