Current issue: 56(2)
In 1965 and 1966 a total of 25 experiments were laid out in various parts of Finland in order to find out the effect of simultaneous variation in the intensity of drainage and fertilization on the development of plantations and natural seedling stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing on pine swamps. The fertilizer used was Y fertilizer for peat soils, a fertilizer mixture containing 14 % N, 18 % P2O5 and 10 % K2O. It was applied in rates of 500, 1,000 and 1,500 kg/ha. The ditch spacings studied were 10, 20 and 30 m. The present paper is a preliminary report on a series of studies, the experiments will be observation for a total of 15–20 years.
Mortality of the planted seedlings was found to be the higher after the first growing season, the larger the quantity of fertilizer that had been applied. Fertilizing caused an increase in seedling mortality even after the first growing season following application. At the end of the fifth growing season the height of both natural and planted seedlings is the greater, the larger the quantity of fertilizer that has been applied. Analysis of the height growth of the seedlings showed that larger quantities of fertilizer did not increase growth in the same proportion. The occurrence of growth disturbances is the greater, the more fertilizer has been applied.
Fertilization also changed the composition of ground vegetation. The in the beginning of the experiment birch (Betula sp.) was absent in the area, but was found in the stands the greater abundance the higher application of the fertilizer.
From the viewpoint of growth of the seedlings the best results were obtained with the greatest intensity of fertilization and the narrowest ditch spacing used in the study. The results also show that strong fertilization and a high degree of drainage intensity are not capable of bringing about any particularly good growth on peatlands which originally are relatively poor in nutrients. The growth values now obtained equal only one third of those obtained on peat soils of greater fertility.
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