ABSTRACT: Stream water chemistry was monitored on two watersheds on the Fernow Experimental Forest in north‐central West Virginia to determine the effects of forest fertilization on annual nutrient exports. Ammonium nitrate and triple superphosphate were applied simultaneously at rates of 336 kg ha−1 N and 224 kg ha−1 P2O5, respectively, which are similar to rates used in commercial forest operations. The treatment significantly increased outputs of several ions. Annual outputs of nitrate N increased as much as 18 times over pretreatment levels, and calcium and magnesium increased as much as three times over pretreatment levels the first year after fertilization. Outputs for these nutrients were elevated for all three post‐treatment years. Although nitrate N increased significantly, only about 20 percent of the applied fertilizer was accounted for in stream water exports. Outputs of phosphate P declined following fertilization, probably because the watersheds are phosphorus deficient, but by the third year, they slightly exceeded predicted values. Estimated nutrient losses to deep seepage were substantial, especially on the leakier south‐facing catchmeat, on which some nutrient losses were equal to or greater than those in stream water. When the nutrient exports associated with both stream discharge and ground water recharge were combined, the percentages of applied N that were lost were similar on the two watersheds, averaging 27.5 percent. Less than 1 percent of the applied P was lost from either watershed in the combination of streamflow and deep seepage.
|Number of pages
|JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
|Published - Apr 1991
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology
- Earth-Surface Processes