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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

The influence of N load and harvest intensity on the risk of P limitation in Swedish forest soils

Akselsson, Cecilia; Westling, Olle; Alveteg, Mattias; Thelin, Gunnar; Fransson, Ann-Mari; Hellsten, Sofie


P budget calculations were carried out for 14,550 coniferous sites from the Swedish National Forest Inventory, as weathering+deposition-harvesting-leaching. Three scenarios with different harvest intensities were used: 1) no harvesting, 2) stem harvesting and 3) whole-tree harvesting. The input data were derived from measurements and model results. The P budget estimates indicate that harvesting, especially whole-tree harvesting, result in net losses of P in large parts of Sweden. The highest losses were found in southern Sweden due to high growth rate in this area. In the whole-tree harvesting scenario the losses exceeded 1 kg ha(-1)y(-1) on many sites. N budget calculations on the same sites indicate that N generally accumulates in the whole country and especially in the southern parts. Consequently, the N and P budget calculations indicate that the forests in southern Sweden are in a transition phase from N-to P-limitation to growth. This transition will proceed as long as the accumulation of N continues. These results are important in a sustainable forestry context, as a basis for assessing the risk of future N leaching, and in designing recommendations for abatement strategies of N deposition and for application of wood ash recycling and N fertilization. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Phosphorous; Nitrogen; Budget; Forest soils; Sweden; Harvesting; Weathering

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2008, Volume: 404, number: 2-3, pages: 284-289

    SLU Authors

    • Fransson, Ann-Mari

      • Lund University

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication Identifiers


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