Effects of fertilization on CO2 efflux in a two-year-old loblolly pine stand on the Virginia PiedmontThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Fertilization is becoming a common, cost effective treatment within managed forests of the Southeastern United States. However, there is little known about how fertilization will affect the belowground processes that drive soil CO22 efflux and heterotrophic respiration. Respiratory components were measured prior to fertilization, weekly following fertilization, and bi-weekly after respiratory components stabilized. We found that total soil CO2 efflux did not differ consistently between fertilized and unfertilized plots over the 8 months. Heterotrophic respiration was significantly (P<0.0001) lower in fertilized plots starting from 8 days after fertilization throughout the duration of the study. We hypothesize that a corresponding increase in root respiration is offsetting any decrease due to microbial suppression.