Nutrient cycling in intensively managed short rotation hybrid poplar plantations
Van Rees, K.C.J.
Hybrid poplars grown on short rotation offer rapid growth (20 years), biomass accumulation greater than native aspen stands, and a large sink for nutrients and carbon. The biomass and nutrients exported after harvesting however may affect long-term productivity with these shorter rotations. The objective of this study therefore was to construct a nutrient budget for two sites in the Boreal transition zone near Meadow Lake, SK., on Orthic Grey Luvisol soils. The nutrient budget, which determines the inflows and outputs of an ecosystem in a specified time period, will be used to determine whether nutrient fluxes from harvesting can be sustained by inputs. The inputs and outputs that will be collected through the year include wet and dry deposition, leaf litter fall, mineral weathering, soil water samples at different depths and biomass samples. Using the data collected, a site nutrient budget will be constructed and evaluated to see if the site can be considered sustainable over a rotation.
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