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.
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.