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Long-term Effects of Mesquite Removal on Soil Characteristics: I. Nutrients and Bulk Density

Tiedemann, A. R., Klemmedson, J. O.
Soil Science Society of America journal 1986 v.50 no.2 pp. 472-475
Prosopis juliflora, bulk density, canopy, long term effects, mineralization, nitrogen, nitrogen content, nutrients, phosphorus, soil carbon, soil depth, soil properties, sulfur
In 1981, we compared soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), and bulk density (BD) for sites with three different mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) histories: (i) where mesquite had been removed 13 yr earlier (MR history), (ii) where mesquite was removed, but sprouted and regrew (MRS history), and (iii) where mesquite was left intact (MI history). Three soil depths from the surface to 19.5 cm were sampled in the canopy location (areas presently or once under the influence of mesquite canopy) and in adjacent open areas. Comparisons between canopy and open locations and among depths were similar to those we observed in 1968. In the surface soil layer of canopy soils, C and N concentrations were arrayed significantly among histories: MI > MRS > MR. There were no significant differences among histories for P, S, or BD, although reduced C following mesquite removal (MR history) was reflected in a tendency for increased BD, which will likely become significant in the future. The differential response of N to mesquite history compared to P and S is probably explained by differences in the amounts of organic and inorganic forms of these elements in soils, and by the differential rates of mineralization and ion mobility.