Nitrogen fixation and accretion by wax myrtle myrica cerifera in slash pine pinus elliottii var elliottii plantations

Permar, T.A.; Fisher, R.F.

Forest Ecology and Management 5(1): 39-46


ISSN/ISBN: 0378-1127
Accession: 005986366

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The effects of wax myrtle (M. cerifera L.) on the N cycle were examined in a 23-yr-old slash pine (P. elliottii Engelm. var elliottii) plantation located near Gainesville [Florida, USA]. These shrubs occurred naturally as an understory and had a crown cover of 8% of the study area. The potential rate of N2 fixation by wax myrtle was estimated to be 13 g N m-2 year-1, or 10.6 kg N ha-1 yr-1 on a stand wide basis. Wax myrtle fixed substantial amounts of N throughout the year although winter rates were significantly less due to the greatly reduced activity of old nodules during that season. The average accumulation rate of N beneath wax myrtle was 1.5 g N m-2 yr-1 in the soil and 0.9 g N m-2 yr-1 in the forest floor. On a stand wide basis this amounted to an accretion of 1.9 kg N ha-1 yr-1 in the soil and forest floor. [N fertilization has been shown to stimulate substantial increases in volume growth of semi-mature pine on spodosol soil sites in the southeastern USA.].