Nitrogen and phosphorus distribution for five plantation species in southwestern Wisconsin

Yowhan Son, Stith T. Gower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Nutrient distribution was determined in the soil and vegetation for 28-year-old red oak (Quercus rubra L.), European larch (Larix decidua Miller), white pine (Pinus strobus L.), red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L) Karst.) plantations on a similar soil in southwestern Wisconsin. The concentration and content of several soil nutrients differed among the five species, but no consistent patterns were observed between deciduous and evergreen species. Current foliage nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentration for European larch and N concentration for red pine decreased down the canopy but did not differ significantly among canopy positions for the other tree species. In general, total N and P content were greatest in the upper 30 cm of soil followed by aboveground vegetation and forest floor. Total N and P content in aboveground vegetation were positively correlated to leaf longevity (r2 = 0.83, P < 0.05 for N; r2 = 0.79, P < 0.05 for P); aboveground N and P content (kg ha-1) were 258 and 26 for red oak, 261 and 41 for European larch, 500 and 57 for white pine, 431 and 49 for red pine, and 687 and 97 for Norway spruce. We estimated that whole tree harvesting (stem + branch + foliage) would remove 120-380% more N and 100-610% more P than stem-only harvests in these plantations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Oct
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was made possible by support from Mclntire-Stennis and University of Wisconsin Graduate School grants to S.T. Gower. Adrian E. Hagen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, allowed us to conduct research at the Coulee Experimental Forest. We thank David H. Alban for generously providing unpublished data on needle litterfall. Joel Anderson, Jon Chapman, Dan Olson and Jeff Reindl provided help in the field and laboratory. Dennis Heise, Department of Biometry and Statistics of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provided valuable discussion on data analysis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrogen and phosphorus distribution for five plantation species in southwestern Wisconsin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this