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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-7—FOREST & RANGE SOILS

Sulfur Availability on Lodgepole Pine Sites in British Columbia


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 4, p. 1325-1333
    Received: Dec 5, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): bkishchu@nrcan.gc.ca
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  1. Barbara E. Kishchuk *a and
  2. Robert P. Brockleyb
  1. a Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 5320 122nd St., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6H 3S5
    b British Columbia Ministry of Forests, 3401 Reservoir Road, Vernon, BC, Canada V1B 2C7


Growth response of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.ex. Loud var. latifolia Engelm.ex S. wats.) to N fertilization is limited by insufficient S on certain sites in British Columbia. This study was conducted to document differences in soil and foliar S fractions between sites with either adequate or insufficient S as determined by foliar nutrient data and growth response information obtained from previously established fertilization research trials with N and N + S application, and to examine relationships among soil S fractions, foliar S status, and growth response to N fertilization. Mineral soil total S concentrations were very low (∼65 mg kg−1) at both S-sufficient and S-deficient sites, and were not different between the sites. Soluble inorganic SO4 concentration was significantly greater in B horizon soil at the S-sufficient sites than at the S-deficient sites. Soluble inorganic SO4 was significantly and positively correlated with organic SO4 (r 2 = 0.24; P = 0.03) and organic C (r 2 = 0.76; P < 0.001). Foliar SO4-S was significantly greater at the S-sufficient sites, and was significantly and positively correlated with B-horizon soluble inorganic SO4 (r 2 = 0.84; P < 0.001), organic SO4 (r 2 = 0.46; P = 0.032), and organic C (r 2 = 0.72; P = 0.002). The highest R 2 for a regression model between soil or foliar properties and response to N fertilization was for a model containing foliar N, foliar SO4-S, and B horizon organic C (R 2 = 0.81; P = 0.004). Cycling of soluble inorganic SO4 through organic SO4 in mineral soil appears to be the process limiting S availability on S-deficient sites. Organic SO4 and soluble inorganic SO4 concentrations at the S-sufficient sites are maintaining foliar SO4-S at levels required for response to N fertilization.

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Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:1325–1333.