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Exponential fertilization of Pinus monticola seedlings: nutrient uptake efficiency, leaching fractions, and early outplanting performance

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Abstract:

We evaluated nutrient uptake efficiency and subsequent leaching fractions for western white pine (Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don) seedlings grown with exponentially increasing or conventional (constant) fertilization in a greenhouse. Conventional fertilization was associated with higher leachate electrical conductivity and greater nutrient losses, which were more pronounced for the more mobile NO3-N than for NH4-N. Exponential fertilization increased seedling nitrogen (N) uptake efficiency (75%), which helped reduce leaching losses compared to conventional fertilization (50%). Although exponentially fertilized plants received 45% less fertilizer (20 mg N·plant–1) during the establishment and accelerated growth phases compared with conventional cohorts (36 mg N·plant–1), seedling morphological characteristics and nutrient status were similar at the end of greenhouse culture and after 2 years of growth in the field, except that exponential fertilization increased root volume after the first year and also increased ectomycorrhizal colonization. Reduction of applied fertilizer quantities and enhanced fertilizer uptake efficiency through exponential fertilization allows for production of high-quality seedlings while simultaneously minimizing fertilizer inputs and mitigating potential environmental contamination.

Les auteurs ont évalué l'efficacité du prélèvement des nutriments et les fractions subséquemment lessivées pour des semis de pin blanc de l'Ouest (Pinus monticola Dougl. ex D. Don) cultivés en serre et fertilisés de façon exponentielle ou conventionnelle (constante). La fertilisation conventionnelle a été associée à une plus grande conductivité électrique du lessivat et à des pertes en nutriments plus élevées, lesquelles étaient plus prononcées pour N-NO3 mobile que pour N-NH4. La fertilisation exponentielle a accru l'efficacité du prélèvement de N par les semis (75 %), ce qui a aidé à réduire les pertes par lessivage comparativement à la fertilisation conventionnelle (50 %). Bien que les plants fertilisés de façon exponentielle aient reçu 45 % moins de fertilisant (20 mg N·semis–1) durant les phases d'établissement et de croissance accélérée comparativement aux cohortes conventionnelles (36 mg N·semis–1), les caractéristiques morphologiques et le statut nutritionnel des semis étaient similaires à la fin de la période de culture en serre et après 2 ans de croissance au champ, sauf que la fertilisation exponentielle a augmenté le volume de racines après la première année ainsi que la colonisation ectomycorhizienne. La réduction des quantités de fertilisants utilisées et l'augmentation de l'efficacité du prélèvement des nutriments obtenues avec la fertilisation exponentielle permettent un production de semis de haute qualité tout en minimisant les apports de nutriments et en atténuant le potentiel de contamination environnementale.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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