Sustainable Forest Fertilization Strategies: Impact on Soil Quality, Ecosystem Health and Productivity

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Soil".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2024 | Viewed by 2097

Special Issue Editors

Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
Interests: soil ecology; soil fertility; nutrient cycling; plant–soil interaction; plant physiology
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
Interests: soil fertility; plant physiology; biomass production; bioethanol; greenhouse gases

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Guest Editor
Agricultural Botany Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Tanta University, Tanta 31527, Egypt
Interests: plant ecology; plant physiology; plant conservation; plant morphology; phytochemistry
College of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
Interests: nitrogen cycling in soil and its environmental effects; biochar application in agricultural and forestry ecosystems; the eco-benefits of soil and water conservation engineering
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on the use of fertilizers for forestry soil explores the crucial role of fertilizers in sustainable forest management. Forests are essential for carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and timber production, but they require careful nutrient management for health and productivity reasons. Fertilizers are also vital in plant nurseries, supporting root and shoot growth, preventing nutrient deficiencies, and enhancing disease resistance. This Special Issue delves into various aspects of fertilizer use in forestry, addressing specific nutrient needs for different tree species and the challenges presented by nutrient deficiencies. It also emphasizes the importance of balanced fertilization for overall forest health, strategies to reduce nutrient runoff, and exploring sustainable practices, like controlled-release fertilizers.

Furthermore, it examines the economics of forest fertilization, assessing its cost-effectiveness and long-term benefits for timber production. Organic and biofertilizers are considered for their potential to promote sustainability and reduce reliance on synthetic chemicals. Therefore, this Special Issue is aimed at offering valuable insights into the complexities of nutrient management in forest ecosystems, emphasizing the need for science-based approaches that align with ecological, economic, and sustainability goals in forestry.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Nutrient management for specific tree species;
  • Nutrient deficiency remediation;
  • Sustainable fertilization practices;
  • Fertilizer application techniques;
  • Forest health and resilience.

Dr. Saif Ullah
Dr. Izhar Ali
Dr. Nabil Ibrahim Elsheery
Dr. Haijun Sun
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • forestry soil
  • nutrient management
  • carbon sequestration
  • synthetic chemicals
  • biodiversity conservation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 13557 KiB  
Article
Substitution of Inorganic Fertilizer with Organic Fertilizer Influences Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Content and Enzyme Activity under Rubber Plantation
by Qiu Yang, Jiale Li, Wenxian Xu, Jingjing Wang, Yamin Jiang, Waqar Ali and Wenjie Liu
Forests 2024, 15(5), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050756 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Conventional fertilization practices can lead to many ecological problems, such as nutrient imbalance, soil acidity, and reduced soil fertility, in natural rubber plantations. To address these challenges, a field investigation was strategically carried out to substitute inorganic fertilizer with organic fertilizer, consisting of [...] Read more.
Conventional fertilization practices can lead to many ecological problems, such as nutrient imbalance, soil acidity, and reduced soil fertility, in natural rubber plantations. To address these challenges, a field investigation was strategically carried out to substitute inorganic fertilizer with organic fertilizer, consisting of six treatments: no fertilization (CK), inorganic fertilizer (NPK), 25% replacement of inorganic through organic (25% manure (M)), 50% replacement of inorganic through organic (50% manure (M)), 75% replacement of inorganic through organic (75% manure (M)), and 100% organic fertilizer (100% manure). The soil physicochemical properties (soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), mineral nitrogen (N), ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N), and nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N)), C:N, pH, and the carbon- and nitrogen-converting enzymes β-1,4-glucosidase (BG), N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) and L-leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) were all determined. The partial substitution of inorganic fertilizer with organic fertilizer (i.e., 75% M at surface soil layer) showed higher SOC (14.52 g·kg−1), TN (1.06 g·kg−1), N (20.07 mg·kg−1), C:N (14.63), NH4+-N (10.63 mg·kg−1), and NO3-N (11.06 mg·kg−1) than NPK and CK. This increase in physicochemical properties after partial replacement of inorganic with organic fertilizer resulted from higher carbon and nitrogen enzyme activities (BG (143.17·nmol·g−1·h−1), NAG (153.96 nmol·g−1·h−1), and LAP (153.48 nmol·g−1·h−1)) compared to NPK and CK. Further, the Pearson correlation and redundancy analysis (RDA) analyses confirmed a significant positive correlation between SOC, N, and soil enzymes. This study presents a new strategy for assessing the impact of partially replacing inorganic fertilizer with organic fertilizer in rubber plantations in tropical regions, mainly by modifying the soil nutrient composition. Full article
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28 pages, 2721 KiB  
Article
Autumnal Potassium Induced Modulations in Plant Osmoprotectant Substances, Nutrient Stoichiometry and Precision Sustainable Seedling Cultivation in Parashorea chinensis
by Saif Ullah, Fang Liu, Le Xie, Si Liao, Wannian Li, Izhar Ali, Mei Yang and Yuanyuan Xu
Forests 2024, 15(2), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15020310 - 6 Feb 2024
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Parashorea chinensis, an endemic tree species in China’s tropical rainforests, holds ecological and economic importance. Challenges like low resistance, poor quality, and low survival rates hinder its successful cultivation. This study explores the potential of autumn potassium fertilization on Parashorea seedlings from [...] Read more.
Parashorea chinensis, an endemic tree species in China’s tropical rainforests, holds ecological and economic importance. Challenges like low resistance, poor quality, and low survival rates hinder its successful cultivation. This study explores the potential of autumn potassium fertilization on Parashorea seedlings from two provenances (Napo and Tianyang). The treatments included no fertilizer (CK-1), a single application of 160 mg K·plant−1 (CK-2), and various potassium levels K1, K2, K3, K4, K5, and K6 (corresponding to 0, 40, 80, 160, 320, and 640 mg·K·plant−1, respectively) combined with nitrogen (200 mg·plant−1) and phosphorus (80 mg·plant−1) fertilization. The findings indicate that autumn potassium application, in conjunction with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization, significantly enhances seedling height and biomass in both provenances, resulting in an average increase of 101% and 89% under the K4 treatment compared to CK-1 and CK-2, comparatively. Both Napo and Tianyang provenances exhibited distinct responses in photosynthetic rate (2.70 μmol·m−2·s−1 and 1.97 μmol·m−2·s−1, respectively) and stomatal conductance (0.042 mol·m−2·s−1 and 0.029 mol·m−2·s−1, respectively) to the K4 treatment, which proved most effective. The chlorophyll content was significantly higher for Napo provenance with the K3 treatment (74.31%, 58.99%), while for Tianyang, it was higher with the K4 treatment (41.48%, 17.36%), compared to CK-1 and CK-2, respectively. Antioxidant enzymes activity, osmoregulatory capacity, and malondialdehyde content all exhibited variations with potassium application levels, with the K4 treatment offering significant benefits. In Napo provenance, lignin (199.82 mg·g−1) and cellulose (252.38 mg·g−1) peaked at K4, while Tianyang exhibited variation, higher lignin (184.25 mg·g−1) at K3, and cellulose (257.73 mg·g−1) at K4. Nutrient content analysis demonstrates that the K4 treatment enhances nutrient absorption and storage, increasing total N (21.56 mg·kg−1), P (4.69 mg·kg−1), and K (13.49 mg·kg−1) content. A comprehensive analysis reveals that the K4 treatment yields the highest quality scores (1.87, 1.85) and membership values (0.82, 0.68) for both Napo and Tianyang seedlings, with Napo seedlings outperforming their Tianyang provenance. Thus, treatment K4 underscores the effectiveness of autumn potassium applications for robust seedling cultivation and adaptation, offering valuable insights for sustainable cultivation practices. Full article
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