Journal Article

Sustainable stemwood yield in relation to the nitrogen balance of forest plantations: a model analysis

Roderick C. Dewar and Ross E. McMurtrie

in Tree Physiology

Volume 16, issue 1-2, pages 173-182
Published in print January 1996 | ISSN: 0829-318X
e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/16.1-2.173
Sustainable stemwood yield in relation to the nitrogen balance of forest plantations: a model analysis

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We used an existing analytical model of stemwood growth in relation to nitrogen supply, which we describe in an accompanying paper, to examine the long-term effects of harvesting and fire on tree growth. Our analysis takes into account the balance between nitrogen additions from deposition, fixation, and fertilizer applications, and nitrogen losses from stemwood harvesting, regeneration burning, leaching and gaseous emissions. Using a plausible set of parameter values for Eucalyptus, we conclude that nitrogen loss through fire is the main factor limiting sustainable yield, defined as the maximum mean annual stemwood volume increment obtained in the steady state, if management practices are continued indefinitely. The sustainable yield is 30 m3 ha−1 year−1 with harvesting only, 15 m3 ha−1 year−1 with harvesting and regeneration burning, and 13 m3 ha−1 year−1 with harvesting, fire, leaching and gaseous emissions combined.

Our approach uses a simple graphical analysis that provides a useful framework for examining the factors affecting sustainable yield. The graphical analysis is also useful for extending the application of the present model to the effects of climate change on sustainable yield, or for interpreting the behavior of other models of sustainable forest growth.

Keywords: fire; growth; harvesting; mean annual increment; sustainability

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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