Effects of growth differences due to geographic location and N-fertilisation on wood chemistry of Norway spruce

Authors: Kaakinen, Seija; Saranpää, Pekka; Vapaavuori, Elina

Source: Trees, Volume 21, Number 2, March 2007 , pp. 131-139(9)

Publisher: Springer

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We studied the effect of long-term nitrogen fertilisation on wood chemistry at two boreal sites in Finland: the northern site (Kemijärvi) and the southern site (Heinola). N-fertilisation was repeated in five-year intervals from the 1960s. Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) trees that had been planted in 1938 and 1954, in the northern and the southern site, respectively, were harvested in October 2002. Altogether 20 trees, in five different size classes, either unfertilised or fertilised, were felled. Wood sections at breast height, consisting of five consecutive annual rings, from six (Kemijärvi) or five (Heinola) points with different distances from the pith were examined. Differences in growth between the northern and southern sites were marked in favour of the southern site. In the northern site fertilisation had clearly increased the diameter growth, while in the southern site fertilisation had no effect. Nitrogen fertilisation resulted in slight changes in wood chemistry that included increased nitrogen concentrations in the northern site and extractives in the southern site. Stem wood had higher concentrations of extractives, starch, and uronic acids, and lower concentration of cellulose, in the northern than in the southern site. Changes in the stem wood chemistry along radial axis were marked. The changes in wood chemistry are discussed in relation to the physiological function and also how the changes can influence the suitability of wood for different end-use purposes.

Keywords: Cellulose; Extractives; Fertilisation; Lignin; Xylem

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00468-006-0103-1

Affiliations: Email: seija.kaakinen@metla.fi

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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