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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'potassium'

Category: Article

article id 5633, category Article
Seppo Kaunisto, Tytti Sarjala. (1997). Critical needle potassium concentrations indicated by diamine putrescine in Norway spruce growing on peat soils. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 4 article id 5633.
Keywords: Picea abies; stress; nutrition; deficiency; potassium; free polyamines; nutrient balance
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Kaunisto, E-mail: sk@mm.unknown (email)
  • Sarjala, E-mail: ts@mm.unknown
article id 5565, category Article
Tytti Sarjala, Seppo Kaunisto. (1996). Effect of different potassium sources on the seasonal variation of potassium and free polyamines in Scots pine needles. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 4 article id 5565.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; needles; putrescine; potassium deficiency; seasonal fluctuation; spermidine; spermine
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Sarjala, E-mail: ts@mm.unknown (email)
  • Kaunisto, E-mail: sk@mm.unknown
article id 5481, category Article
Pekka Nygren, Pertti Hari. (1992). Effect of foliar application with acid mist on the photosynthesis of potassium-deficient Scots pine seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 26 no. 3 article id 5481.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; photosynthesis; nutrient deficiency; seedlings; acid deposition; potassium concentration
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Nygren, E-mail: pn@mm.unknown (email)
  • Hari, E-mail: ph@mm.unknown
article id 5369, category Article
Helen J. Jozefek. (1989). The effect of varying levels of potassium on the frost resistance of birch seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 23 no. 1 article id 5369.
Keywords: frost hardiness; Betula pendula; electrical impedance; cold tolerance; potassium fertilizer
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Jozefek, E-mail: hj@mm.unknown (email)
article id 5317, category Article
Ilari Lumme, Markku Yli-Halla. (1987). Behaviour of certain phosphorus and potassium compounds in a sedge peat soil. Silva Fennica vol. 21 no. 3 article id 5317.
Keywords: fertilization; nitrogen; peatlands; potassium; willows; Salix; fast-growing willows; slow-released fertilizers
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Lumme, E-mail: il@mm.unknown (email)
  • Yli-Halla, E-mail: my@mm.unknown
article id 5303, category Article
Hannu Raitio. (1987). Neulasvuosikertojen merkitys neulasanalyysin tulkinnassa. Silva Fennica vol. 21 no. 1 article id 5303.
English title: The significance of the number of needle year classes of Scots pine in interpreting needle analysis results.
Original keywords: mänty; ravinnepitoisuus; neulasvuosikerta; neulasanalyysi
English keywords: Pinus sylvestris; nitrogen; Scots pine; phosphorus; needle analysis; potassium; magnesium; needle year classes
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Raitio, E-mail: hr@mm.unknown (email)
article id 5152, category Article
Tuulikki Pakonen. (1981). Observations on the nutrient status in air polluted urban forest stands. Silva Fennica vol. 15 no. 4 article id 5152.
Keywords: potassium; Vaccinium myrtillus; fertilizers; air pollution; environmental impact; Empetrum nigrum; ilman epäpuhtaudet; fertilizer industry; calcium; magnesium; forest environment
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Pakonen, E-mail: tp@mm.unknown (email)

Category: Research article

article id 1734, category Research article
Jyrki Hytönen, Paula Jylhä, Keith Little. (2017). Positive effects of wood ash fertilization and weed control on the growth of Scots pine on former peat-based agricultural land – a 21-year study. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 3 article id 1734.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; fertilization; vegetation management; shading; agricultural soil; overgrowth; potassium deficiency; production potential
Highlights: Weed control decreased and fertilization increased vegetation height and shading of seedlings; Weed control decreased mortality, but fertilization had no effect; Despite improved foliar K concentration though ash fertilization, all trees in the trial had severe K deficiency after 21 years; Weed control increased growth by 20 m3 ha–1 and fertilization by 35 m3 ha–1 in 21 years.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Hytönen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Management and Production of Renewable Resources, Teknologiakatu 7, FI-67100 Kokkola, Finland ORCID E-mail: (email)
  • Jylhä, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Green technology, Teknologiakatu 7, FI-67100 Kokkola, Finland E-mail:
  • Little, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, George Campus, Western Cape, South Africa E-mail:
article id 1704, category Research article
Inger Sundheim Fløistad, Toril Drabløs Eldhuset. (2017). Effect of photoperiod and fertilization on shoot and fine root growth in Picea abies seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 1 article id 1704.
Keywords: Norway spruce; nitrogen; nutrients; potassium; root collar diameter; root scanning; short day treatment
Highlights: Effects of photoperiod and fertilization treatment on Norway spruce seedling growth were examined; Short day treatment and ordinary K:N ratio in the fertilization proved the best combination for achieving seedlings with suitable root and shoot properties for field establishment; Increased K:N ratio in the fertilization did not reduce shoot height growth.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

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.

  • Fløistad, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), P.O. Box 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway E-mail: (email)
  • Eldhuset, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), P.O. Box 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway E-mail:
article id 139, category Research article
Ulf Sikström, Curt Almqvist, Gunnar Jansson. (2010). Growth of Pinus sylvestris after the application of wood ash or P and K fertilizer to a peatland in southern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 3 article id 139.
Keywords: fertilization; wood ash; nitrogen; ammonium nitrate; forest yield; needle element concentrations; potassium chloride; raw phosphate
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The effects of the application of wood ash and of fertilizer regimes including phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), with and without simultaneous addition of nitrogen (N), were investigated on a stand of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) saplings growing on a drained oligotrophic peatland site in southern Sweden. A randomized block design was used. Tree growth and concentrations of various elements in the needles were measured. The addition of similar doses of P (approx. 40 kg P ha–1) from different sources resulted in similar growth responses, amounting to 1.6–1.9 m3 ha–1 yr–1 of stem wood over the 26-year study. The P source was either wood ash (2500 kg d.w. ha–1) or PK-fertilizer (raw phosphate and potassium chloride). In response to several treatments there were both increased numbers of trees and increased growth of individual trees. The high PK-dose (40 kg P ha–1 and 80 kg K ha–1) appeared to result in a larger growth increase than the low dose (20 kg P ha–1 and 40 kg K ha–1). The N treatment had no additional effect on growth. In the control plots, tree growth was more or less negligible (0.04 m3 ha–1 yr–1). After almost 26 years, concentrations of P and K in the needles of treated plants were still higher than in the untreated control plants. Nevertheless, in spite of the elevated P concentration, P appears to limit the growth of Scots pine. In conclusion, after sufficient drainage of this type of peatland site, it is possible for a forest stand to develop to the pole stage if wood ash or PK-fertilizer is applied.
  • Sikström, Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: (email)
  • Almqvist, Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
  • Jansson, Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
article id 492, category Research article
Seppo Kaunisto, Tytti Sarjala. (2003). Foliar potassium concentrations of bilberry, bog bilberry and downy birch as indicators of potassium nutrition of Scots pine on a drained peatland. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 3 article id 492.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; peatland; foliar analysis; dormancy; B. pubescens; deficiency; deficiency limit; needle analysis; potassium; putrescine; V. myrtillus; V. uliginosum
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Leaves of bilberry (V. myrtillus), bog bilberry (V. uliginosum) and downy birch (B. pubescens) were collected five times during a growing season from 18 plots in a drainage area, and needles of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) once during the following winter from the same plots at Parkano, southern Finland. The aim was to study the potassium nutrition of the test plants and relationships between the foliar potassium concentrations of Scots pine and of the test plants. The estimation of the potassium nutrition of test plants was based on the accumulation of putrescine in foliage. Apart from single observations, elevated putrescine concentrations were found when the potassium concentrations were < 5 mg g–1 in bilberry, < 4 mg g–1 in bog bilberry and < 6 mg g–1 in downy birch, and the highest concentrations below the potassium levels of 3.0–3.5 mg g–1. At the concentrations of 2–3 mg g–1 the accumulation increased pronouncedly in bog bilberry but less in downy birch and only slightly in bilberry. The foliar potassium concentrations in test plants correlated closely with the concentrations in pine needles. The concentrations of all species in August were quite stable at the levels of the severe and slight potassium deficiency of pine (3.5 and 4.5 mg g–1 respectively) indicating that August would be suitable for collecting foliage. The concentrations in bog bilberry were very close to the concentrations in pine at the severe and those in bilberry at the slight deficiency level of pine. All test plants could be used for predicting the potassium nutrition of Scots pine, but additional research is needed for the practical application of the method.
  • Kaunisto, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano Research Station, Kaironiementie 54, FIN-39700 Parkano, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Sarjala, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano Research Station, Kaironiementie 54, FIN-39700 Parkano, Finland E-mail:

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