Main content area

Biomass and Nutrient Accumulation During Stand Development in Wyoming Lodgepole Pine Forests

Pearson, John A., Knight, Dennis H., Fahey, Timothy J.
Ecology 1987 v.68 no.6 pp. 1966-1973
Pinus contorta var. latifolia, bioaccumulation, biomass production, calcium, coniferous forests, dead wood, dendrochronology, even-aged stands, forest litter, magnesium, meadows, nutrients, trees, Wyoming
Accumulation rates of biomass and nutrients during stand development in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta ssp. latifolia [Engelm. ex Wats.] Critchfield) forests were calculated using dendrochronological reconstructions of biomass in conjunction with information on detrital immobilization of nutrients. Dead wood, forest floor, and live tree Including root) biomass were examined. Maximum total biomass accumulation rates of 2.5—3.2 Mg°ha— ¹°yr— ¹ were reached between ages 40 and 60 yr in even—aged stands, but an uneven—aged stand did not achieve a maximum accumulation rate (1.5 Mg°ha— ¹°yr— ¹) until after 80 yr of development. The results suggest (1) a major role for forest floor detritus in the retention of N, P, Ca, and Mg; (2) the importance of living vegetation for K retention; and (3) the fundamental differences in biomass and nutrient dynamics between even—aged stands that develop after fire and stands that develop through gradual invasion of a meadow.