Foliar nutrient concentration in first and second rotations of Pinus patula at Sao Hill forest plantation in Tanzania


Laswai Francis*, Massawe Boniface, Maliondo Salim, Kilawe Charles, Malila Barnabas and Hadija Mchelu

Foliar nutrients status can be used to determine soil nutrient supplying potential and pant nutrient deficiencies of the site. This study examined the foliar nutrients status of Pinus patula in first and second rotation stands in Sao Hill forest plantation, Tanzania. The findings can be used as data base for foliar nutrients status and the basis for improvement of management practices in the plantation. Foliage samples were collected during dry and wet seasons and analysed for macro nutrients. Results showed nutrients concentrations varied with rotations and were mostly within the range of critical levels except Phosphorus which was low implying lower uptake due to low soil Phosphorus availability, probably attributed to low soil pH. Foliar Nitrogen concentration was significantly higher during the wet season compared to other nutrients increased (p<0.001) during the dry season. Foliar Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium concentrations and NP ratio were significantly higher (p<0.0001) in PPR1 than PPR2 stands. These contrasting results imply that the increase in rotation negatively affected foliar nutrient concentration in Pinus patula at Sao Hill forest. The study recommended improvement in management practices by retaining foliage in the field during harvesting for better nutrient cycling and avoid burning of log trashes.

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