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Mineral Composition, Cation-Exchange Properties and Uronic Acid Content of Various Tissues of Conifers

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Mineral and uronic acid (U.A.) analysis, and cation exchange capacity (C.E.C.) measurements have been made on seedlings, pollen and seed of 26 conifer species. Needles, stems, seed and pollen have similar C.E.C. values averaging between 11 and 15 me/100 g, while those of roots range from 20 to 29 me/100 g, averaging 24 me/100g. Cation exchange capacity and U.A. are positively related in all 5 tissues, while the mineral composition of the seedlings, all from the same granitic soil, shows little variation as far as major cations, P or S are concerned. Compared with the seedling tree, seeds contain similar amounts of K and Na, but Ca and N are present in lower, and Mg in higher amount, and for pollen, Ca is much lower and K much higher than in vegetative tissues. Sequoia and Metasequoia needles have a very high Cl content relative to other species. Compared with the good positive correlations found for Angiosperm species, connecting root C.E.C. with ash, total cations, or Ca + Mg/K + Na in the tops, those derived from the conifer data are poor. For 20-year-old trees of Pinus contorta grown in a replicated experiment in Scotland from seed from 10 sources in western Canada and U.S.A. the C.E.C. of needles ranges from 8.6 to 9.7 me/100 g and correlates with their N content (r = 0.88). Nitrogen content, needle weight and length are positively related and increase with distance from the coast of the seed collecting area. For seed from intermediate and inland sources these characteristics increase with height of the collecting area above sea level. For the other chemical constituents very little variation is found between the 10 provenances.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Member of the Forest Soils Section, Department of Pedology, Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, Aberdeen, Scotland

Publication date: December 1, 1964

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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