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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 55 No. 6, p. 1746-1752
    Received: Nov 7, 1990

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Soil Solution Phosphorus Dynamics in a Whole-Tree-Harvested Northern Hardwood Forest

  1. Ruth D. Yanai 
  1. Boyce Thompson Inst. for Plant Research, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14850



Forest harvest drastically alters nutrient cycling, yet stream water and mineral-soil solutions typically show little change in P concentrations after forest disturbance. Changes in P availability and movement are more likely to be detected in forest-floor solutions, since P can be strongly sorbed in soil. Tension-free lysimeters were used to compare forest-floor and mineral-soil solution total-P concentrations in whole-tree-harvested and undisturbed forest sites for 2 yr after harvest in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. Mean total-P concentrations in solution in the forest floor (Oa horizon) were significantly higher in whole-tree-harvested sites (248 µg P L−1) than in undisturbed forest sites (67 µg P L−1), presumably due to reduced plant uptake of P. Mean P concentrations in mineral-soil solution remained low after whole-tree harvest (32 µg P L−1 in the Bh and 15 µg P L−1 in the Bs), consistent with the high P-sorption capacity of the mineral soil. Phosphorus flux in soil solution from the Oa to the B horizon, calculated from monthly mean P concentrations and monthly water flux simulated by a hydrologic model, was greater in whole-tree-harvested sites (1.0 kg P ha−1 yr−1) than in undisturbed forest sites (0.3 kg P ha−1 yr−1) in the first 2 yr after the disturbance. This redistribution of P from the forest floor to the mineral soil far exceeds stream-water export of dissolved P (0.02 kg P ha−1 yr−1) but is small compared with forest-floor stores (85 kg P ha−1).

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