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Water and nutrient dynamics of Pinus caribaea plantation forests on former grassland soils in Southwest Viti Levu, Fiji

Researcher: M.J. Waterloo
Current affiliation: Acacia Water, Gouda, The Netherlands



Duration: 1989-1994; periodic repeat soil sampling continued until present
Funding: The Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (WOTRO), grant no. W84-295); Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Key research questions / objectives

Research methodology

Research plots were established in Pennisetum polystachyon grassland and 5, 10 and 15-year old Caribbean pine forest plantations plots to study the water balance and nutrient cycle. Evaporation was measured with a meteorological set-up and by the soil moisture depletion/zero flux plane methods. Rainfall interception losses were measured by comarison of throughfall and stemflow measurements with above-canopy precipitation. Precipitation, throughfall, stemflow, litter percolate and soil moisture were analysed to determine the nutrient fluxes. Biomass studies were done to evaluate the nutrient content of the standing forest.

Harvesting of Pinus caribbea in Nabou Forest, Fiji, 1991
Harvesting of Caribbean pine trees in the Oleolega catchment in Viti Levu, Fiji (July, 1991).

A 2.5-year hydrological catchment study was carried out in the Oleolega catchment, which remained under mature forest for the first year of the study and then was logged and burned. Precipitation and runoff amounts and hydrochemistry were measured continuously throughout this period. Separate soil physics, biomass and soil nutrient studies were carried out to quantify changes in nutrient status during the experiment.

The results of the study were published in several papers and in a comprehensive PhD thesis. Links to these documents are given below.


Dr. Maarten J. Waterloo
Last modified: Wed Dec 30 12:57:06 CET 2015