Current issue: 55(2)
The effects of wood ash and PK fertilization on natural regeneration and sowing of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were studied in field experiments on nitrogen-poor (Ntot 0.87–1.26%) peat substrates. The study material was derived from three drained, nutrient-poor pine mires (64°52’ N, 25°08’ E) at Muhos, near Oulu, Finland. The experimental fields were laid out in 1985 as a split-split-plot design including the following treatments; mounding, natural regeneration and sowing and fertilization; PK (400 kg ha-1) and wood ash (5,000 kg ha-1). The seedlings were inventoried in circles in July–August 1991.
Changes in the vegetation were small and there were no statistical differences due to the fertilization treatments in the ground vegetation. PK or ash fertilization did not cause vegetation changes harmful to Scots pine regeneration on nitrogen-poor peatlands. Both sowing and fertilization significantly increased the number of pine seedlings, but not their height. Wood ash increased seedling number more than PK fertilizer. The number of seedlings varied from 7,963 (control) to 42,781 ha-1 (mounding + sowing + ash). The seedling number was adequate for successful regeneration even on non-mounded, non-fertilized naturally regenerated plots.
The number of birch seedlings varied more than that of pine (370–25,927 ha-1). Mounding especially increased the number of birches. The difference between PK fertiliser and ash was less pronounced than that for pine. In addition, to the field studies the effects of ash and PK fertilizer on the germination of Scots pine seeds was studied in a greenhouse experiment. Soaking in ash solutions strongly reduced seed germination, while the PK solution was less harmful.