Effects of Eucalypt and Acacia plantations on soil water in Sumatra
Hardie, M and Mendham, D and Corkrey, R and Hardiyanto, E and Maydra, A and Siregar, S and Marolop, R and Wibowo, A, Effects of Eucalypt and Acacia plantations on soil water in Sumatra, New Forests, 49, (1) pp. 87-104. ISSN 0169-4286 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017
Indonesia’s pulp and paper industry needs a large area of sustainably grown plantations to support its continued development. Acacia mangium has been the key species underpinning the pulp and paper industries in Sumatra, however increased disease pressure on A. mangium is expected to require large-scale conversion of Acacia plantations to Eucalyptus in the near future. The effect of such a large scale change in plantation species on soil moisture, for both tree production, and catchment hydrology is unknown. In this study we sought to characterize the impacts of plantation species (Acacia or Eucalyptus) and nitrogen management, on soil moisture, soil water depletion and depth to groundwater under stands of Acacia mangium and Eucalyptus pellita over the first 2–3 years after establishment. The study was conducted in experiments at four sites in Sumatra, Indonesia. Soil moisture and soil water depletion were not influenced by plantation species or fertilizer treatment. Soil moisture content and soil water depletion were strongly influenced by shallow groundwater at two of the four sites, however depth to groundwater did not influence stem growth. Results from the field trials cautiously suggest that large scale conversion of Acacia mangium to Eucalypt species in these regions is unlikely to result in increased moisture stress, nor is conversion of plantation species likely to lead to substantial differences in catchment hydrology. This study demonstrated the importance of conducting multi-site studies when investigating biophysical relationships in forest/plantation systems.