Mineral nitrogen dynamics following soil compaction and cultivation during hoop pine plantation establishment
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The effects of soil compaction and cultivation on soil mineral N dynamics were investigated through an 18-month, in situ N mineralisation experiment during the inter-rotation and early establishment period of a second rotation (2R) hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii Aiton ex A. Cunn) plantation in southeast Queensland, Australia. Treatments were 0, 1 and 16 passes of a fully laden forwarder (gross weight, 40.2 Mg) and cultivation by disc plough (zero cultivation and cultivation). Nitrate N was the dominant form of mineral N throughout the 18-month sampling period in both non-cultivated and cultivated soils, varying between 10 and 40 kg ha-1 whilst ammonium N remained <10 kg ha-1. Compaction had no significant effect on N mineralisation or nitrification. However, the remediation of the effects of compaction on soil through the use of the disc plough had significant impacts on N mineralisation, nitrification and N leaching. On a seasonal basis, the mean net N mineralisation increased from around 30 to 53 kg ha-1, nitrification from 28 to 43 kg ha-1 and nitrate N leaching from around 10 to 73 kg ha-1 following cultivation.
Forest Ecology and management
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