Nutrient distribution in Eucalyptus globulus plantations from NW Spain

J. Brañas, F. González-Río, A. Merino


Nutrient concentration and distribution in the aboveground tree biomass, litter layer and mineral soil were determined in nine plantations of Eucalyptus globulus (6-18 years old) from NW Spain. In mature plantations, the total quantities of P, K, Ca and Mg in tree biomass were higher than available quantities of P, K, Ca and Mg in the soil. The logging residues (bark, branches, twigs and leaves), representing the 25 % of the total aboveground biomass, accumulated more than half of the tree biomass nutrients (N, K, Ca and Mg). These tree biomass components also accounted for more than 30 % of the P, Ca and Mg of the forest system. The organic horizon of soil in mature plantations also constituted an important reserve of limiting nutrients, specially of P, Ca and Mg. These results show the importance of logging residues and soil humus layer to avoid the loss of fertility after harvesting.


Eucalyptus globulus; Forest nutrition; Nutrient distribution; Logging residues; Organic horizon