Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (4): 387-395.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.04.004

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Soil chemical properties and growth characteristics of mixed plantation of Pinus massoniana and Cinnamomum camphora in the acid rain region of Chongqing, China

LI Zhi-Yong1,2,*(), WANG Yan-Hui2,**(), YU Peng-Tao2, ZHANG Zhi-Jun2, DU Shi-Cai3, HE Ping3, WANG Xiang4, DUAN Jian5, LI Zhen-Hua1   

  1. 1College of Agriculture, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, Henan 471003, China
    2Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology Environment of the State Forestry Administration, Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
    3Forestry Administration of Chongqing City, Chongqing 401147, China
    4Bureau of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Resources of Jiangbei District of Chongqing City, Chongqing 400023, China
    5Tieshanping Forest Farm of Chongqing City, Chongqing 400026, China
  • Received:2009-05-25 Accepted:2009-10-30 Online:2010-05-25 Published:2010-04-01
  • Contact: WANG Yan-Hui


Aims Acid rain has led to Pinus massoniana forest decline in Chongqing, Southwestern China. Cinnamomum camphora, an acid-resistant broadleaved tree species, has been widely distributed in the region. Cinnamomum camphora is thought to improve soil properties and health condition of P. massoniana; however, little information is available from mixed plantations of P. massoniana and C. camphora exposed to acid rain. Our objective was to examine soil chemical properties and growth traits of these two species in mixed plantations in the region.

Methods We investigated soil chemical properties and above- and below-ground growth condition of a mixed plantation of P. massoniana and C. camphora in the Tieshanping Forest Farm of Chongqing City. We compared results with those from adjacent pure plantations of P. massoniana and C. camphora, which were planted at the same time as the mixed plantation.

Important findings Compared with the pure P. massoniana plantation, pH values were greater in the humus and soil of the mixed plantation, contents of exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+ were higher, contents of exchangeable Al3+ and H+ were significantly lower (p < 0.05), the amount of fine roots of P. massoniana in the humus and soil was smaller (p < 0.05), height of dominant trees of P. massoniana was significantly lower (p < 0.05) and needle discoloration percentage of dominant trees of P. massoniana was higher (p < 0.05). Growth characteristics of C. camphora were similar to those of the pure C. camphora plantation. This study suggested that although C. camphora ameliorated soil chemical properties, health of P. massoniana of the mixed plantation worsened, which might be caused by stronger competitive abilities of C. camphora. Therefore, the competitive advantage of C. camphora against P. massoniana should be properly controlled when establishing mixed plantations of P. massoniana and C. camphora for improving the health of pure P. massoniana plantations in the region.

Key words: acid rain, Cinnamomum camphora, growth, mixed plantation, Pinus massoniana, roots