OJF  Vol.5 No.2 , January 2015
Efficacy of Pelletized Lime versus Limestone Sand for Forest Regeneration Enhancement in Pennsylvania, USA
Abstract: The efficacy of limestone sand and pelletized lime for remediation of soil acidity was compared in order to determine if limestone sand was a more cost-effective alternative to pelletized lime. Between fall of 2002 and spring 2003, two forested sites in Pennsylvania were clear cut and fenced. Pelletized lime and limestone sand were applied to separate 400-m2 plots within the sites at rates of 2170 kg·ha-1 and 4335 kg·ha-1, respectively. Two additional 400-m2 plots were used as controls. A paired before-after control-impact study design was used to assess changes in soil, soil solution, vegetation and biomass after lime application. Soil samples were collected from the Oi, Oe + Oa, and A horizons before and after lime application. Woody and herbaceous vegetation was harvested from 1-m2 sub-plots before and after liming and bi-weekly soil solution samples were collected for six months following lime application. Analysis of variance procedures were used to compare changes in the treatment plots over time. Changes in soil chemistry following lime application were comparable on the limestone sand and pelletized lime plots. There was a significant increase in exchangeable Mg and Mg saturation in the Oe + Oa horizon on all of the lime treatment plots relative to controls, but a greater percentage of applied Ca and Mg was exchangeable in the O-horizon in pelletized lime plots nine months after liming. Plant biomass did not increase on the lime treatment plots relative to the control one year post treatment. The majority of applied Ca and Mg from pelletized lime and limestone sand remained in the litter layer, with little movement into the A-horizon after one growing season. These results indicated that the application of limestone sand at two times the rate of pelletized lime produced comparable changes in soil and soil solution chemistry at a fraction of the cost.
Cite this paper: Mizel, N. , Sharpe, W. and Swistock, B. (2015) Efficacy of Pelletized Lime versus Limestone Sand for Forest Regeneration Enhancement in Pennsylvania, USA. Open Journal of Forestry, 5, 221-234. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2015.52020.

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