Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
The impacts of weed control, ash fertilization and their interaction were tested for the afforestation of former agricultural peat-based soil with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in northern Finland in a factorial arrangement of four treatments. Weed control with herbicides was carried out in July 1 and 2 years from planting, and wood ash (5 Mg ha–1) was applied in the spring of the 2nd year. Various vegetation, tree growth and nutrient assessments were made over the 21-year study period. Weed control decreased the weed cover by 36–56 percentage points, vegetation height by 4–26 cm and thus shading of seedlings by vegetation for at least 4 years after planting. For the same period, ash fertilization increased vegetation height by 6–15 cm and shading of seedlings. Weed control reduced seedling mortality by 27 percentage points in 21 years, but ash fertilization had no significant effect. Ash fertilization increased foliar potassium and boron concentrations, but its effect declined, and severe K-deficiency was recorded 21 years after planting. Up to the 9th year, weed control had a greater influence on growth than fertilization. Later the significance of fertilization increased due to an aggravated K-deficiency. Stand volume at year 21 for the untreated control plots was 8 m3 ha–1. Weed control and fertilization increased stand volume by 20 and 35 m3 ha–1, with a combined effect of 55 m3 ha–1. The effects of weed control and fertilization were additive and no significant interactions were found. Due to severe K-deficiencies, re-fertilization of all treatments would be necessary for the continued survival and growth of Scots pine.
Picea abies seedlings were given three different fertilization treatments in the nutrient solution by varying the potassium:nitrogen (K:N) ratios (2.5, 3.0 or 3.9 g g–1). All fertilization treatments were combined with short-day (SD) treatment or no such treatment (control). Above- and belowground growth responses in the seedlings were analyzed. The SD treatment resulted in significantly reduced shoot height, compared to untreated control, irrespective of K:N ratio. No combination of photoperiod treatment or fertilization treatment affected the root collar diameter. In the current year root fraction with diameter < 0.5 mm, the highest K:N ratio led to significantly increased root length in control plants. In each 0.1 mm root diameter class up to 0.5 mm, the highest K:N ratio significantly stimulated root growth in control plants, while the effect was less evident for SD plants. SD treatment stimulated length growth in some fine root diameter classes. We conclude that SD treatment is a good and sufficient measure to reduce height growth without compromising fine root growth of P. abies seedlings. Fertilization treatment did not significantly improve aboveground growth in SD treated seedlings, and only limited effects on root growth was seen on control plants.
Dormant needles from 129 Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) trees from the 2nd and 3rd topmost whorls were collected from spruce stands locating fairly close to each other. Tree height varied from 8 to 25 metres. Trees with and without visual potassium deficiency symptoms in needles were selected and analysed for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, boron, copper, zinc, and 3 free polyamines putrescine, spermine and spermidine.
The concentrations of all the analysed nutrients ranged from deficient to satisfactory levels. Free putrescine, spermidine and spermine concentrations in the current needles had a wide variation between the trees. Spermidine had a positive and spermine a negative correlation with potassium. Putrescine had a strong negative correlation with potassium with statistically significant increase in putrescine starting at potassium concentrations below 5.4 mg/g dry weight. The regression between putrescine and potassium changed from a linear to a non-linear form at the potassium concentration of 4.2–4.6 mg/g dry weight representing a severe K deficiency limit. The corresponding K/P ratio was 2.6–2.7. Extremely low phosphorus concentrations (P < 1.0 mg/g) lowered putrescine concentrations, but otherwise the relationships between putrescine, spermidine or spermine and potassium concentrations were unaffected by tree nutrition. At adequate potassium levels the putrescine concentrations were only slightly lower in trees taller than 20 metres than in trees of 8–16 metres height. The results show that the needle putrescine concentration can be used quite reliably for describing potassium nutrition of Norway spruce in varying nutritional and tree size conditions.
Seasonal fluctuations in free polyamines, spermidine, spermine, putrescine and potassium concentrations were studied for two years (1992–1993) in three needle years of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) grown on a drained mire in western Finland. Seven different fertilizer treatments involving five different sources of potassium were used.
Putrescine concentrations were high in winter and in May but low in summer. High peaks in putrescine in March and May could be found in unrefertilized or rock phosphate treatments. Spermidine and spermine concentrations were high in March and May. In December spermine concentrations were low. Biotite increased the needle potassium concentrations less than the other potassium fertilizers but the putrescine concentrations or the putrescine/spermidine ratio to about the same level. This suggests that biotite, although very slowly soluble, can reasonably satisfy potassium nutrition of young pine trees.
The potassium concentrations of needles in all the fertilization treatments were higher in winter than in summer. The response of putrescine to the potassium concentration was strongly negative in all the needle years and sampling times. In March, May and December the response of putrescine to potassium was fairly similar in both years but not in June and August. The results suggest that the potassium concentrations during the growing season cannot be used for estimating the potassium nutrition of trees, because the variation between the years may be substantial, whereas the needle putrescine concentration or putrescine/spermidine ratio indicates the suboptimum potassium status of Scots pine fairly well. Needle putrescine concentrations over 500 nmol g-1FW quite regularly coincided with a unsatisfactory potassium nutrition and concentrations over 1,000 nmol g-1FW were a reliable indication of potassium deficiency. Putrescine/spermidine ratios below 5 indicated a satisfactory potassium nutrition in all needle years throughout the year.
The interactive effects of potassium deficit and foliar application with acid water (pH 5.5, 4.5, 4.0 and 3.0 given consecutively) on CO2 exchange rate of Pinus sylvestris L. seedlings was investigated in field conditions. No reduction of the CO2 exchange rate was observed in the seedlings supplied with sufficient potassium. Only the seedlings having the lowest needle K concentration (2.4 mgg-1) had an apparently low CO2 exchange rate before the applications with acid water. The CO2 exchange rate of most of the seedlings with low needle K concentration (3.9–6.0 mgg-1) decreased after the acid water application. The threshold acidity for the reduction varied between pH 4,0 and 3.0 depending on the needle K concentration. The reduction was more apparent at high irradiance. It was concluded that acid precipitation disturbs the CO2 exchange only in conditions of mineral nutrient deficit.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
Seven hundred one-year-old Betula pendula Roth seedlings were given different concentrations of potassium fertilizer. Over the study period seedlings were subjected to artificial growing and dormant phases. Frost resistance of the seedlings was assessed by artificial freezing tests and electrical impedance measurements on stem cuttings. In general, high concentrations of potassium fertilizer reflected a low tolerance to frost. Pre-freezing impedance readings decreased with increasing potassium fertilizer dosages. Results from pre-freezing impedance measurements were found to be in broad agreement with the hypothesis that high impedance readings indicate a frost hardy tissue whereas low readings imply the opposite.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The solubilityof various phosphorus and potassium compounds in a sedge peat soil was studied in an incubation experiment aimed at screening potential fertilizers for the cultivation of fast-growing willows. (KPO3)n proved not to be a source of the slow-released K regarded as most desirable for this kind of cultivation as it was hydrolysed completely in the soil during incubation. Phosphorus from easily soluble or hydrolysable compounds (superphosphate, KH2PO4, (KPO3)n) was bound in the soil largely by Al and Fe and elevated the level of readily soluble P considerably, whereas rock phosphates were found to be practically unchanged after incubation and did not contribute to the readily soluble P in the soil. Apatites proved to be quite insoluble and are therefore assumed to be unsuitable as P fertilizers for fast-growing willows, which have a high nutrient demand.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
This study deals with significance of the number of needle year classes in estimating the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium status of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) plants on the basis of needle analysis. Due to the nutrient retranslocation deficiencies in these nutrients are best determined by analysing separately the needles of the topmost branch whorls possessing one, two or three needle year classes. The concentrations of those nutrients which are not scarce will then increase as needle year classes decrease. In cases of deficiency, on the other hand, the content of the nutrient concerned will remain the same or decrease. Only severe deficiencies are revealed by the examination of the nutrient concentrations of only the youngest or the oldest needles.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.
Fertilizer factory has been found to be harmful to the surrounding area through its fertilizing effect, mainly due to nitrogen compounds in the form of NOx and ammonium. In this study, pH, K, Ca and Mg contents in the humus layer were monthly monitored around a fertilizer industry in Oulu, Northern Finland, in 1975 and 1976. In addition, nutrient analyses were made in the leaves of Vaccinium vitis-idaea, V. myrtillus and Empetrum Nigrum.
The calcium, magnesium and potassium present in the emission of airborne fertilizer dust brought about an increase of the nutrient content of the surface top soil humus compared with the control samples. The nutrient contents of dwarf shrub leaves increased near the industrial site as compared with the controls. The potassium contents of Vaccinium myrtillus and Empetrum nigrum were exceptionally high. The results of this pilot study show that the overfertilization must have had an increasing effect on the nutrient status changes in the forest environment.