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Harvest residue effects on soil organic matter, nutrients and microbial biomass in eucalypt plantations in Kerala, India


Kumaraswamy, S and Mendham, DS and Grove, TS and O'Connell, AM and Sankaran, KV and Rance, SJ, Harvest residue effects on soil organic matter, nutrients and microbial biomass in eucalypt plantations in Kerala, India, Forest Ecology and Management, 328 pp. 140-149. ISSN 0378-1127 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2014.05.021


Conservative site management practices such as harvest residue retention can potentially convey long term benefits for site sustainability, but they are only practiced to a limited extent in many Eucalyptus plantations in the tropical regions. Burning and/or removal of harvest residues can remove substantial quantities of nutrients, but it is still common practice in many parts of India. We explored the effect of harvest residue retention or removal on soil properties at 4 multi-rotation Eucalyptus plantations in Kerala, India. Soil carbon, N and P content were little influenced by differing harvest residue treatments. Interestingly, soil N mineralization rates were affected only minimally by harvest residue retention at individual sites, however, laboratory incubations demonstrated a significant increase in soil N-mineralization potential with increasing harvest residue additions. Soil microbial biomass was influenced to a lesser extent by harvest residue retention. We conclude that harvest residue retention can help to sustain the soil fertility in subsequent rotations and minimize the loss of nutrients from the sites, but fertilizers are still likely to be an important part of the nutrient management regime for productive plantations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Eucalyptus, land use, soil C, soil N, soil P, N-mineralization, soil fertility maintenance, tropical plantation
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Forestry management and environment
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Hardwood plantations
UTAS Author:Mendham, DS (Mr Daniel Mendham)
ID Code:117323
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2017-06-07
Last Modified:2017-09-04

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