Dissolved carbon and nitrogen leaching following variable logging-debris retention and competing-vegetation control in Douglas-fir plantations of western Oregon and Washington

Robert A. Slesak, Stephen H. Schoenholtz, Timothy B. Harrington, Brian D. Strahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the effect of logging-debris retention and competing-vegetation control (CVC, initial or annual applications) on dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen, and nitrate-N leaching to determine the relative potential of these practices to contribute to soil C and N loss at two contrasting sites. Annual CVC resulted in higher soil water nitrate-N concentration and flux, with the magnitude and duration of the effect greatest at the high-N site. Most of the increase in nitrate-N at the low-N site occurred in treatments where logging debris was retained. Dissolved organic nitrogen increased at the high-N site in March of each year following annual CVC, but the contribution of this increase to total N concentration was small (2%-4% of total N flux). There was no effect of logging-debris retention or CVC treatment on soil water DOC concentrations, indicating that DOC inputs from logging debris and competing vegetation were either retained or consumed in the mineral soil. The estimated increase in leaching flux of dissolved C and N associated with the treatments was low relative to total soil pools, making it unlikely that loss of these elements via leaching will negatively affect future soil productivity at these sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1484-1497
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume39
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

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