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Title: Mixed-species plantations of 'Eucalyptus' with nitrogen-fixing trees: A review
Contributor(s): Forrester, David I (author); Bauhus, Jurgen (author); Cowie, Annette  (author); Vanclay, Jerome K (author)
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2006.05.012
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Abstract: Mixed-species plantations of 'Eucalyptus' with a nitrogen (N₂) fixing species have the potential to increase productivity while maintaining soil fertility, compared to 'Eucalyptus' monocultures. However, it is difficult to predict combinations of species and sites that will lead to these benefits. We review the processes and interactions occurring in mixed plantations, and the influence of species or site attributes, to aid the selection of successful combinations of species and sites. Successful mixtures, where productivity is increased over that of monocultures, have often developed stratified canopies, such that the less shade-tolerant species overtops the more shade-tolerant species. Successful mixtures also have significantly higher rates of N and P cycling than Eucalyptus monocultures. It is therefore important to select N₂-fixing species with readily decomposable litter and high rates of nutrient cycling, as well as high rates of N₂-fixation. While the dynamics of N₂-fixation in tree stands are not well understood, it appears as though eucalypts can benefit from fixed N as early as the first or second year following plantation establishment. A meta-analysis of 18 published studies revealed several trials in which mixtures were significantly (P < 0.001) more productive than monocultures, and no instances in which mixtures were less productive than monocultures. Regression analyses of such data were more informative than indices of relative yield, and were more informative in trials that contrasted four or more different species compositions. Thus replacement series examining compositions of 100:0, 67:33, 33:67, and 0:100 were more informative than minimalist 100:0, 50:50 and 0:100 series.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Forest Ecology Management, 233(2-3), p. 211-230
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0378-1127
Field of Research (FOR): 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
050102 Ecosystem Function
070502 Forestry Biomass and Bioproducts
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 820101 Hardwood Plantations
960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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