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New paper describes the significant impact of bedrock type and soil nitrogen content on forest sustainability and ecosystem services.

Forest harvest can deplete soil nutrients that sustain soil fertility and forest growth. The specific nutrients involved can differ considerably among sites, though most analyses of nutrient depletion consider nitrogen as the critical nutrient. USGS scientists and colleagues used a simulation model with 18 interacting nutrient cycles to evaluate how two key components of soil fertility - nitrogen and bedrock type - shaped nutrient sustainability of intensively managed forests in Oregon. Forests on low nitrogen soil displayed nitrogen limitation of tree growth over centuries of forest harvest, regardless of bedrock type. In contrast, forests growing on high nitrogen soil displayed severe growth declines after just two 40-year harvest rotations. The effect of bedrock type, sedimentary vs. basalt, was critical on high nitrogen sites and determined whether calcium and potassium emerged as limiting nutrients. These findings have significant implications for sustainable forest growth and associated ecosystem services in intensively managed landscapes.  

Siah, K.G., Perakis, S.S., Pett-Ridge, J.C., and van der Heijden, G., 2023, Nitrogen-bedrock interactions regulate multi-element nutrient limitation and sustainability in forests: Biogeochemistry, Online. 

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