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Journal of soil science and plant nutrition

On-line version ISSN 0718-9516

Abstract

CUEVAS, Jaime G. et al. Nutrient and sediment losses to streams after intervention of Eucalyptus plantations. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. [online]. 2018, vol.18, n.2, pp.576-596. ISSN 0718-9516.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-95162018005001702.

The forestry industry is known for negatively affecting stream quality when proper management is not applied. Nutrient retention by soils and streamside vegetation buffer strips could attenuate these impacts. We tested the response of different streams to the nutrients and sediments released by a) fertilization and b) clear-cutting of Eucalyptus globulus plantations growing on volcanic soils in southern Chile. We expected the exports to decrease as the remnant streamside native forest width (SNFW) increased. The response to fertilization was restricted to the days immediately after the nutrient addition. On the contrary, most of the nutrients analysed (nitrate, ammonium, dissolved organic nitrogen, phosphate, and total phosphorus) showed a long-term response to clear-cutting. The observed trends were not affected by the SNFWs included in this study (2.5-22 m). Regarding sediments, there were no differences compared to the control watershed, probably due to improvements in the implemented management practices. We conclude that a SNFW < 22 m is not sufficient to avoid the loss of nutrients released by clear-cutting, as it is for sediments. The analysed SNFWs were smaller than those established by Chilean regulations (maximum 30 m) and our results support claims for wider riparian widths in order to effectively filter the nutrients and sediments that influence streams.

Keywords : Eucalyptus globulus; fertilization; sediments; streamside native forest width; Ultisols.

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