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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 45 No. 2, p. 428-432
    Received: Apr 8, 1980
    Accepted: Oct 8, 1980

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Nitrogen Content and Other Soil Properties Related to Age of Red Alder Stands1

  1. B. T. Bormann and
  2. D. S. DeBell2



The magnitude and pattern of nitrogen (N) accretion and other changes in soil properties were assessed for red alder stands (Alnus rubra Bong.) 5 to 41 years old growing on the same soil type in the same general area. Regression of soil nitrogen (N) content over stand age revealed that N has accumulated at a nearly constant rate of about 35 kg ha−1 year−1 in the mineral soil (0- to 20-cm depth) beneath alder stands. After an apparently rapid build-up in the first decade, forest floor N increased linearly from 10 to 40 years at a rate of 15 kg ha−1 year−1. Other mineral soil characteristics beneath alder stands differed markedly from those beneath adjacent Douglas-fir stands [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco]; organic matter content was 20% higher, and pH and bulk density were much lower. The rate of N accretion and improvement of other soil characteristics suggest opportunities for increasing yields of Douglas-fir grown in mixed or rotational culture with red alder.

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