Navigation Links
Will intensive forest practices impact water quality?
Date:1/7/2008

MADISON, WI, JANUARY 7, 2008 In order to increase productivity, forest practices have become more intense in recent decades. Forest fertilization increased by 800% in the southeastern United States from 1990 to 1999, and the total acreage fertilized in the Southeast exceeds the forest area fertilized in the rest of the world. This has generated concern that intensive forest practices, including fertilization, may negatively impact water quality in forest streams.

In a recent study, hydrologists at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) investigated the effects of intensive forestry on water quality in the timber-producing region of eastern Texas. The results are published in the January-February 2008 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Analysis at several small and large watersheds began in 1999. In 2002, treatment watersheds were clearcut harvested and herbicides applied to control competing vegetation. One subset of clearcut watersheds was fertilized with an aerial application of diammonium phosphate while another subset was not. Unfertilized streamside buffers of at least 15 m, consistent with Texas best management practices (BMPs), were retained on all intermittent and perennial streams.

Clearcutting with herbicide site preparation alone resulted in slight increases of nitrogen on small watersheds but not on the large one. Fertilization resulted in increased losses of nitrogen and phosphorus from both the large and small watersheds. The overall magnitude of these increases was small, with 1 to 7% of the applied nitrogen and 1 to 2% of the applied phosphorus leaving the watersheds in runoff waters. Rainfall nitrogen inputs were higher than stormflow losses of nitrogen, indicating that even after fertilization at a rate almost 30 times greater than rainfall input, these watersheds were still serving as nitrogen sinks. Peak runoff concentrations were well below published water quality standards.

Clearcutting with intensive forest practices using BMPs did not dramatically affect runoff concentrations and losses of nutrients from these watersheds. Nutrient export was a small fraction of what was applied, and most of the loss occurred within the first few storms after treatment.

Forest fertilization usually has a small, short-lived impact on nutrient losses. This is in part due to the relative infrequency of fertilization (1-2 applications per 25-30 year stand rotation) and lower inherent fertility of most forest soils. In addition, streamside buffers help stabilize stream channels and prevent direct application of fertilizers to streams, thus reducing potential water quality impacts. Finally, rapid herbaceous and woody vegetation regrowth and subsequent nutrient uptake in the warm, humid Southeast reduced the amount of nutrients available for movement offsite.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@soils.org
608-268-4948
Soil Science Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Carbon sink capacity in northern forests reduced by global warming
2. Forest Service launches Web-based forest threats viewing tool
3. New carbon calculator conserves forests
4. Beetle dung helps forests recover from fire
5. European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study
6. Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
7. Univ. of Arizona receives $2.5 million to study Amazon forests and climate change
8. Single-largest biodiversity survey says primary rainforest is irreplaceable
9. Wildfire drives carbon levels in northern forests
10. Why do so many species live in tropical forests and coral reefs?
11. Study shows housing development on the rise near national forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ... announced a global partnership that will provide end ... use mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... key innovation area for financial services, but it also plays ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the ... original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and ... company. Dr. Bready served as CEO of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... on a range of subjects including policies, debt and investment ... Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian Economics ... the country,s inflation target, which is set by both the ... "In certain areas there needs to be frequent ... not sit down and address strategy together?" He ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
Breaking Biology Technology: