Research output

Biomass and nutrient cycling of a highly productive Corsican pine stand on former heathland in northern Belgium

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article



Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)389-405
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1998


Biomass and nutrient cycling were examined in a 62-year-old highly productive Corsican pine stand (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. laricio Poiret) growing on a coarse and dry sandy soil with low exchangeable nutrient pools. Total aboveground biomass was estimated at 240 tons dry weight per hectare of which 201 tons concerned boles. The belowground biomass amounted to 46 t ha-1 (16 % of total standing biomass). The current annual volume increment was estimated at 20.6 m3 h-1 year-1. Root study emphasized the role of the rooting depth as an important growth factor. Calculated uptake rates for N, P, K, Ca and Mg were respectively 50.5, 1.9, 38.2, 15.6 and 3.3 kg ha-1 year-1. Despite an abundant nitrogen deposition (46 kg inorg. N ha-1 year-1 between 23 and 35 % of the nitrogen demand was supplied by internal transfers. Retranslocation of phosphorus fulfilled 64 % of the annual requirement. The root uptake of potassium, calcium and magnesium were better coupled with the tree requirements. The uptake rates of Ca and Mg could be met by atmospheric deposition. The canopy leaching of potassium accounted for 70 % of the root uptake. The low uptake rates of P, Ca and Mg were inconsistent with the vigorous growth of the stand, which could only be maintained by a high nutrient use efficiency. The monitoring of the nutrient status between 1988 and 1995 revealed an obvious decline in the concentrations of Ca, Mg, K and P due to growth dilution.

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