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Articles containing the keyword 'seedling growth'.

Category: Research article

article id 10230, category Research article
Mohammed Henneb, Osvaldo Valeria, Nelson Thiffault, Nicole Fenton. (2019). Black spruce seedling growth response in controlled organic and organic-mineral substrates. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 4 article id 10230. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10230
Highlights: Seedling height and diameter were highest on clay and mesic substrates respectively; Foliar nutrients were relatively high in seedlings that were established on mesic substrates; We recommend the application of mechanical soil preparation techniques that promote the creation of organic-mesic substrates to support regeneration establishment.

In the boreal forest of eastern Canada, a large proportion of black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.) stands are affected by paludification. Edaphic conditions that are created by paludification processes, including an abundance of microsites with high moisture and low nutrient contents, hinder forest regeneration. Disturbance of paludified sites by mechanical soil preparation (MSP) reduces organic layer thickness, while generating a range of substrates for regeneration establishment. Yet, little information is available regarding the effects of these substrates on tree growth. Our objective was to determine the effect of organic, mineral and organo-mineral substrates that are created following MSP of a paludified site on the growth and root development of black spruce seedlings in a semi-controlled environment. We demonstrated that substrate exerted a significant effect on seedling growth and foliar concentrations of N, P and K. Increase in height and diameter were respectively greatest on clay (mineral) and mesic substrates. Substrate effects did not affect total biomass increases or final root biomass. Foliar nutrients (N, P, K) were relatively high in seedlings that were established on mesic substrates and relatively low for those established on clay substrates. To ensure successful seedling establishment, we recommend the application of MSP techniques that expose organic-mesic substrates on sites that are susceptible to paludification.

  • Henneb, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4507-1219 E-mail: mohammed.henneb@uqat.ca (email)
  • Valeria, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9921-7474 E-mail: osvaldo.valeria@uqat.ca
  • Thiffault, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada; Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, 1055 rue du PEPS, P.O. Box 10380, Stn Sainte Foy, Quebec, QC G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2017-6890 E-mail: nelson.thiffault@canada.ca
  • Fenton, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3782-2361 E-mail: nicole.fenton@uqat.ca
article id 404, category Research article
William L. Mason, Colin Edwards, Sophie E. Hale. (2004). Survival and early seedling growth of conifers with different shade tolerance in a Sitka spruce spacing trial and relationship to understorey light climate. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 4 article id 404. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.404
Alternative silvicultural systems to clearfelling are being adopted in Great Britain as a means of increasing the species and structural diversity of conifer plantation forests. One area where knowledge is lacking is the critical level of below-canopy light for survival and growth of young seedlings. This was investigated by planting seedlings of European larch Larix decidua (Mill.), Scots pine Pinus sylvestris L., Sitka spruce Picea sitchensis (Bong.(Carr.)), Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.(Franco.)), and western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla (Raf. (Sarg.)) in a Sitka spruce plantation thinned to 3 different spacings. The incident light intensity beneath the canopy ranged from about 2 to over 60 per cent of full light. Planting in an adjoining open area provided an indication of growth under full light. Growth and survival of these seedlings were followed for 4 growing seasons. The highest seedling survival was found under the widest spacing and declined with closer spacing and lower light intensity. Only Douglas fir and western hemlock seedlings survived at the closest spacing, and in low percentages. The tallest seedlings of each species were found in the open grown conditions but survival was variable due to increased weed competition. Species-specific growth responses showed little difference under high light conditions but performance at low light was generally consistent with shade tolerance rankings in the literature except that Sitka spruce shade tolerance was slightly lower than expected. Minimum light requirements for these species increased from 10 to 30 per cent of full light with decreasing shade tolerance. Other studies of incident light in Sitka spruce plantations indicated that target basal areas in the range 25–30 m2 ha–1 are required if these light conditions are to be met, which suggests an irregular shelterwood system with frequent interventions should be favoured.
  • Mason, Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, UK, EH25 9SY ORCID ID:E-mail: bill.mason@forestry.gsi.gov.uk (email)
  • Edwards, Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, UK, EH25 9SY ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Hale, Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, UK, EH25 9SY ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Review article

article id 10172, category Review article
Ulf Sikström, Karin Hjelm, Kjersti Holt Hanssen, Timo Saksa, Kristina Wallertz. (2020). Influence of mechanical site preparation on regeneration success of planted conifers in clearcuts in Fennoscandia – a review. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 2 article id 10172. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10172
Highlights: Mechanical site preparation (MSP) increases seedling survival rates by 15–20%; Survival rates of 80–90% ca. 10 years after MSP and planting conifers are possible; MSP can increase tree height 10–15 years after planting by 10–25%; The increase in growth rate associated with MSP may be temporary, but the height enhancement probably persists.

In the Nordic countries Finland, Norway and Sweden, the most common regeneration method is planting after clearcutting and, often, mechanical site preparation (MSP). The main focus of this study is to review quantitative effects that have been reported for the five main MSP methods in terms of survival and growth of manually planted coniferous seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.) in clearcuts in these three countries. Meta analyses are used to compare the effects of MSP methods to control areas where there was no MSP and identify any relationships with temperature sum and number of years after planting. In addition, the area of disturbed soil surface and the emergence of naturally regenerated seedlings are evaluated. The MSP methods considered are patch scarification, disc trenching, mounding, soil inversion and ploughing. Studies performed at sites with predominately mineral soils (with an organic topsoil no thicker than 0.30 m), in boreal, nemo-boreal and nemoral vegetation zones in the three Fenno-Scandinavian countries are included in the review. Data from 26 experimental and five survey studies in total were compiled and evaluated. The results show that survival rates of planted conifers at sites where seedlings are not strongly affected by pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) are generally 80–90% after MSP, and 15–20 percent units higher than after planting in non-prepared sites. The experimental data indicated that soil inversion and potentially ploughing (few studies) give marginally greater rates than the other methods in this respect. The effects of MSP on survival seem to be independent of the temperature sum. Below 800 degree days, however, the reported survival rates are more variable. MSP generally results in trees 10–25% taller 10–15 years after planting compared to no MSP. The strength of the growth effect appears to be inversely related to the temperature sum. The compiled data may assist in the design, evaluation and comparison of possible regeneration chains, i.e. analyses of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of multiple combinations of reforestation measures.

  • Sikström, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: ulf.sikstrom@skogforsk.se
  • Hjelm, Skogforsk, Ekebo 2250, SE-268 90 Svalöv, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: karin.hjelm@skogforsk.se (email)
  • Holt Hanssen, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), P.O. Box 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: kjersti.hanssen@nibio.no
  • Saksa, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Juntintie 154, FI-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: timo.saksa@luke.fi
  • Wallertz, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Asa Forest Research Station, SE-360 30 Lammhult, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: kristina.wallertz@slu.se

Category: Article

article id 7475, category Article
Peitsa Mikola. (1958). Liberation of nitrogen from alder leaf litter. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 67 no. 1 article id 7475. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7475

Litters of different plant species vary greatly in regard to their nutrient content and other properties. The aim of the study was to compare different litters from the standpoint of their value as soil fertilizer. In an experiment Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were grown in pot cultures in which known amounts of different litters had been mixed with the soil. The tested litters were Pinus sylvestris (L.), Larix sibirica (Ledeb.), Betula sp., Populus tremula (L.), Alnus incana (L.) Moench, A. glutinosa (L.) (Gaertn.), Sorbus aucuparia (L.), Tilia cordata (Mill.), Acer platanoides (L.), Corylus avellana (L.), Eupteris aquilina (L.), and Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin.

A striking difference was found between alder (Alnus sp.) leaf litter and all the other litters tested. The difference can be seen from the second growth season on, becaus the young seedling uses mainly the nutrients included in the seed. The leaf litter has mainly unfavourable effect on the growth of the pine seedlings. Only both alder species improve the growth. This is mainly due to the nitrogen content of alder leaves. Tree leaves and other forest litter are often composted in the forest nurseries. It seems that adding nitrogen to the compost is necessary, otherwise compost added to the soil may have a harmful effect on the seedlings. Alder, on the other hand, has nitrogen binding Actinomyces growing in symbiosis in its root nodules, and is able to utilize atmospheric nitrogen.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Mikola, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5475, category Article
Jyrki Hytönen. (1992). Allelopathic potential of peatland plant species on germination and early seedling growth of Scots pine, silver birch and downy birch. Silva Fennica vol. 26 no. 2 article id 5475. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15636

The potential alleopathic inhibitive effects of aqueous extracts of 13 peatland plant species on germination, radicle and seedling growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), silver and downy birch (Betula pendula Roth., B. pubescens Ehrh.) were studied. Freshly cut plant parts were finely ground, mixed with distilled water and agitated. The proportions of fresh plant mass in the mass-based extracts varied within the range of 1, 5, 10 and 20% (w/w). The seeds were germinated in petri dishes moistened with the plant extracts. In a separate experiment growth of birch seedlings irrigated with the extracts was studied.

Ledum palustre, Vaccinium uliginosum and Empetrum nigrum extracts, and in certain experiments extracts of other species, inhibited the germination of Scots pine and birch seeds. Results from the different experiments were not, however, fully consistent. None of the low (1% w/w) extract concentrations had any effect on germination. Strong extract concentrations (20% w/w) inhibited germination of pine seedlings significantly. The extracts affected only slightly the growth of potted birch seedlings.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Hytönen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5360, category Article
Risto Rikala, Pasi Puttonen. (1988). Maan lämpötilan vaikutus kuivuusrasitukseen perustuvassa taimien laatutestissä. Silva Fennica vol. 22 no. 4 article id 5360. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15517
English title: Effect of soil temperature in drought exposure-based test of seedling quality.

The effect of root exposure on the shoot and root development of Pinus sylvestris (L.) seedlings was studied at two soil temperatures. Roots of bare-rooted three-year-old seedlings were exposed to the temperature of 32°C at relative humidity of 50–40% for 85, 155 and 270 minutes which corresponds to accumulated water pressure deficit of 24, 47 and 91 mbar·h, respectively. Thereafter, seedlings were grown for 65 days at the soil temperatures of 12 and 23°C. Drought exposures inhibited new root initiation, delayed shoot elongation, and reduced shoot and needle growth. The stronger the exposure the larger the proportion of needles from the lower part of current shoot that remained undeveloped. Low soil temperature increased the effect of exposures so that needle elongation and initiation of new root tips of seedlings in cold soil with the longest exposure were inhibited totally. Root growth assessments made in warm soil may overestimate the acclimation potential of planted seedlings.

The PDF includes an abstract in English.

  • Rikala, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Puttonen, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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