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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 857641, 6 pages
Research Article

Effect of 26 Years of Intensively Managed Carya cathayensis Stands on Soil Organic Carbon and Fertility

1College of Forest Resources and Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
2Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Carbon Cycling in Forest Ecosystems and Carbon Sequestration, Zhejiang Agricultural and Forestry University, Lin’an, Zhejiang 311300, China

Received 14 August 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013; Published 15 January 2014

Academic Editors: L. E. Parent, H. G. Rosatto, and K. Vanderlinden

Copyright © 2014 Jiasen Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chinese hickory (Carya cathayensis), a popular nut food tree species, is mainly distributed in southeastern China. A field study was carried out to investigate the effect of long-term intensive management on fertility of soils under a C. cathayensis forest. Results showed that after 26 years’ intensive management, the soil organic carbon (SOC) content of the A and B horizons reduced by 19% and 14%, respectively. The reduced components of SOC are mainly the alkyl C and O-alkyl C, whereas the aromatic C and carbonyl C remain unchanged. The reduction of active organic matter could result in degradation of soil fertility. The pH value of soil in the A horizon had dropped by 0.7 units on average. The concentrations of the major nutrients also showed a decreasing trend. On average the concentrations of total nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) of tested soils dropped by 21.8%, 7.6%, and 13.6%, respectively, in the A horizon. To sustain the soil fertility and C. cathayensis production, it is recommended that more organic fertilizers (manures) should be used together with chemical fertilizers. Lime should also be applied to reduce soil acidity.