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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Mineralizable Soil Nitrogen as an Index of Nitrogen Availability to Forest Trees1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 6, p. 1314-1320
    Received: Mar 10, 1980
    Accepted: Aug 5, 1980

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  1. Robert F. Powers2



Soil N mineralized during 14-day anaerobic incubation at 30°C is evaluated as an index of forest soil fertility and site productivity. Mineralizable soil N determined under standard conditions correlates significantly with N mineralized anaerobically for 6 months in the field, with site index and yield potential of Pinus ponderosa L. growing on volcanic, metavolcanic, and metasedimentary soils, and with foliar concentrations of N. Soils testing less than 12 ppm of mineralizable N are judged clearly deficient, but stands of pine and fir on soils testing as high as 16 ppm of N still may respond well to fertilization. Absolute variability in mineralizable soil N decreases with soil depth and increases with the magnitude of the soil test mean, but relative variability is constant. Comparing ammonium produced during laboratory incubation with that mineralized over 6 months in the field shows that field soil temperature has a strong bearing on the interpretation of the laboratory test.

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