The objective of this study was to determine the effect of 18% thinning on streamflow nutrient flux from a mature oak–beech forest ecosystem by paired watershed approach. Two experimental watersheds including control (W-I) and treatment (W-IV) watersheds were used in the study. The experimental watersheds were monitored about 6 years from 2006 to 2011 for the calibration period and 4 years from 2012 to 2015 for the treatment period. The forest in the treatment watershed was thinned between October and December in 2011, and the forest in the control watershed was left untreated. Water grab samples were collected from the streams in the watersheds on weekly basis during both the calibration and treatment periods and analyzed for calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), Kjeldahl nitrogen (KN), sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), iron (Fe3+), aluminum (Al3+), ammonium nitrogen (NH4 +-N), and sulfate (SO4 2−). The simple linear regression equations were developed between mean monthly nutrient fluxes of two watersheds in the calibration period with significantly high correlation coefficients, and they were used to estimate nutrient fluxes from the treatment watershed during the treatment period as if thinning had not been applied. The changes in the monthly nutrient fluxes were estimated as the differences between measured and values calculated with the linear regression equations. Results showed that removal of 18% standing timber volume did not significantly change nutrient exports except for KN and Na+ from the treatment watershed.
European Journal of Forest Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 8, 2017
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