Effect of mechanical site preparation and fertilisation on early growth and survival of a black pine plantation in northern Greece

Authors: Varelides, C.1; Varelides, Y.2; Kritikos, T.2

Source: New Forests, Volume 30, Number 1, July 2005 , pp. 21-32(12)

Publisher: Springer

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Pine plantations on selected sites in the extensive zone of degraded oak coppice of northern Greece are deemed necessary for increasing wood production in the area and suitable site preparation may accelerate early tree growth. Seven site preparation treatments including raking (R), with sub-soiling (RS), disc harrowing (RD), tine ploughing (RT) and their combinations (RSD), (RDT) and (RSDT) were compared for the establishment of black pine (Pinus nigra Arn) in an oak coppice site, of conglomerate parent material at Anthrakia, northern Greece. The randomised blocks trial of three replications and 110 trees per treatment, half of which were fertilised with 150 g NPK per plant, was assessed at the age of 15 years for diameter, dominant tree height and survival. There was no significant difference between the treatments in any of the traits examined, nor did the fertilisation had any effect. Only the fertiliser × treatment interaction was found significant at p<0.001 for dominant height, accounting for 37% of the observed variation in this trait. The lack of response to site preparation treatments may be attributed to the hard Bt3 clay horizon, extending beyond cultivation depth (50 cm), that prevents the roots penetration into deeper moist soil layers. The F × T interaction, where the combination of (RSDT) treatment and fertiliser was found to accelerate tree height growth in relation to the same treatment without fertiliser, indicates that thorough soil cultivation is needed for fertilisation to be effective in such sites.

Keywords: Fertilisation; Pinus nigra; Plantation establishment; Soil cultivation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11056-004-0760-0

Affiliations: 1: Forest Research Institute, Terma Alkmanos, Athens, 11528, Greece, Email: covar@fria.gr 2: Forest Research Institute, Terma Alkmanos, Athens, 11528, Greece,

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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