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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 50 No. 3, p. 788-792
    Received: Oct 18, 1984

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Soil Nutrient Distribution Under and Adjacent to Singleleaf Pinyon Crowns1

  1. Richard Everett,
  2. Steven Sharrow and
  3. Diana Thran2



Soil nutrient concentrations were examined by horizon and distance from the tree stem of singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla Torr. & Frem.). Documenting tree impact on the soil system provided insights into observed understory distribution patterns and variations in understory yield among soil microsites reported previously. Nutrient concentrations were greater under the crowns of trees than in soils between trees. Cluster analysis showed a maximum of 80% similarity in the distribution among exchangeable K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+; extractable Zn2+, Cu2+, Mn2+, Fe3+, SO2-4, PO3-4; water soluble C, mineralizable-N, pH, total soluble salts, and HCO-3 in relation to soil depth and distance from the tree. Soil nutrients and other measured parameters segregated into two main clusters based on distribution patterns. Extractable PO3-4, Fe3+, Mn2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, mineralizable-N, water soluble C, and HCO-3 were found in highest concentrations at the soil surface. Exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, total soluble salts, and pH had highest values in subsurface horizons. Phosphate, K+, pH, total soluble salts, and Na+ significantly increased from the interspace soils to soils under the tree canopy. Phosphate, mineralizable-N, Zn2+, Fe3+, and HCO-3 declined rapidly in concentration from surface to subsurface horizons under the tree crown. Small root density was directly correlated to concentrations of mineralizable-N, Zn2+, Mn2+, Cu2+, and Fe3+. Nutrient accumulation in conjunction with soil moisture, light, and allelopathic effects is speculated to confer a competitive advantage to the tree species at the expense of the associated understory.

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