We assessed nitrogen and phosphorus limitation in a floodplain forest in southern Georgia in USA using two commonly used methods: nitrogen to phosphorus (N:P) ratios in litterfall and fertilized ingrowth cores. We measured nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in litterfall to determine N:P mass ratios. We also installed ingrowth cores within each site containing native soil amended with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or nitrogen and phosphorus (N + P) fertilizers or without added fertilizer (C). Litter N:P ratios ranged from 16 to 22, suggesting P limitation. However, fertilized ingrowth cores indicated N limitation because fine-root length density was greater in cores fertilized with N or N + P than in those fertilized with P or without added fertilizer. We feel that these two methods of assessing nutrient limitation should be corroborated with fertilization trials prior to use on a wider basis.
Neatrour, M. A., Jones, R. H., & Golladay, S. W. (2008). Assessment of Nutrient Limitation in Floodplain Forests with Two Different Techniques. Research Letters in Ecology, 2008, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1155/2008/260754