Mechanisms of Nitrogen Retention in Forest Ecosystems: A Field Experiment

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Science  06 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4657, pp. 51-52
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4657.51


Intensive forest management led to elevated losses of nitrogen from a recently harvested loblolly pine plantation in North Carolina. Measurements of nitrogen-15 retention in the field demonstrated that microbial uptake of nitrogen during the decomposition of residual organic material was the most important process retaining nitrogen. Management practices that remove this material cause increased losses of nitrogen to aquatic ecosystems and the atmosphere.