Fertilization of Northern Hardwoods
Northern hardwoods grow over a considerable range of climatic and edaphic conditions and exhibit a wide range in productivity.Many northern hardwood forests are capable of high production relative to other forest types, but are often slow to reach maximum productivity because of low nutrient availability.Altering the patterns of biomass accumulation so that managers can maximize productivity over shorter rotations may be accomplished with fertilization. The success of forest fertilization to accomplish this goal is dependent upon our understanding of the factors governing the availability of nutrients at metabolically active sites. Toward this end, the future of forest fertilization research should be directed away from field trials toward studying factors such as nutrient uptake, redistribution of nutrients among ecosystem components, internal nutrient cycling, and soil processes. Without such basic information, our field trials will remain inconclusive and full of uncertainties.