Canadian Forest Service Publications
Nutrient removals with harvesting and by deep percolation from white birch (Betula papyrifera [Marsh.]) sites in central Newfoundland. 1998. Titus, B.D.; Roberts, B.A.; Deering, K.W. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 78(1): 127-137.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 4990
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The effects of conventional stem-only and whole-tree harvesting on nutrient losses in biomass removal and in leachate fluxes over a 3-yr period after cutting three white birch stands in central Newfoundland were determined. Losses of nutrients in biomass were proportionately greater with more intensive harvesting as tree components with higher nutrient concentrations (branches, foliage) were removed. Stem-only harvesting removed 126, 9, 51, 126 and 23 kg ha-1 of N, P, K, Ca and Mg in biomass, respectively. Whole-tree harvesting led to a 19% increase in biomass removal as compared to stem-only harvesting, but nutrient removals with whole-tree harvesting increased by 127% for N, 138% for P, 151% for K, 72% for Ca and 90% for Mg. Nutrient losses in deep percolation of soil solution during the first 3 yr after harvesting were generally greater following stem-only than whole-tree harvesting. This may be the result of increased leaching from slash, increased mineralization beneath slash, and retardation by slash of the successional vegetation that could act as a nutrient sink. In the first 3 yr following harvesting, leaching losses after whole-tree harvesting were 4, 0.2, 8, 23 and 7 kg ha-1 of N, P, K, Ca and Mg, respectively, as compared with 9, 0.1, 7, 28 and 9 kg ha-1 of N, P, K, Ca and Mg after stem-only harvesting. Nutrient losses in leachate were generally small compared to losses in biomass removal.