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Modelling volume growth response of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvetris) stands to N, P, and K fertilization in drained peatland sites in Finland

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Fertilizers are applied in drained peatland forests to correct nutrient imbalances, but few models have been developed for predicting the stand growth response. We used 10- to 34-year-long stem growth increment data from 51 fertilization experiments involving ash, PK, and NPK treatments (doses of P, K, and N varying between 35 and 45, 60 and 80, and 80 and 90 kg·ha–1, respectively) and controls to model the volume growth response of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvetris L.) stands to fertilization in drained peatland sites of middle and northern Finland. We used the linear mixed models method to express the stand-level growth response as a function of time (5-year periods), site type group, location, and the fertilization treatment (ash–PK combined and NPK). Different growth responses were obtained for nitrogen-rich sites with PK treatment and nitrogen-poor sites with NPK treatment. The PK fertilization in nitrogen-rich sites resulted in the largest volume growth response and longest temporal effect (1.0–2.0 m3·ha–1·a–1 higher mean growth for at least 35 years), with quicker and stronger effects in more southern conditions where average temperature sums were greater than 1000 degree-days (°C). NPK fertilization in nitrogen-poor sites gave a modest response (0.4–0.8 m3·ha–1·a–1 in 35 years).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland. 2: Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 413, 90014 University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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