Canadian Forest Service Publications
Scarification, fertilization and herbicide treatment effects on planted conifers and soil fertility. 1995. Burgess, D.M.; Baldock, J.A.; Wetzel, S.; Brand, D.G. Plant and Soil 168-169: 513-522.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 4436
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The influences of soil surface modification (blade scarification and plastic mulching), fertilization and herbicide application on soil nutrient and organic carbon content and tree growth and foliar nutrient status were examined after seven years in a study located within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest region of Canada. Plots had been planted with white pine (Pinus strobus L.) and white spruce (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) seedlings. Light (PAR), soil moisture and temperature were monitored and recorded throughout the growing season. Forest floor and soil mineral (0-20 cm layer) samples were collected from all experimental plots, except those which had plastic mulching. Foliar samples were collected in autumn and analysed for N, P and K and storage compounds. Seedling mortality was 20% higher in unscarified plots. Combined silvicultural treatments increased productivity as much as 14 times, but scarification reduced soil carbon and nutrient capital 2-3 fold. Herbicide application reduced soil carbon by at least 20%. Foliar nutrient, protein, starch and lipid contents in autumn were little affected by treatment. The future management of such stands in Canada probably will include more shelterwood harvesting and crop rotations, silvicultural systems that are more closely aligned with natural forest succession.