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Responses of Douglas-Fir to Elevated Atmospheric Fluorides

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The response of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco to fluorides was studied near a phosphate reduction plant around which some 200 acres of timber had been killed. Study trees selected at increasing distances from the operation were placed into groups according to the average fluoride content of the leaves. Radial growth, needle length, and dry weight of trees in the various groups were compared before and during operations. Radial growth of trees with fluoride concentration under 50 ppm (the control) was greatest during the period the phosphate plant was operating. Where concentrations were higher radial growth was least during operations and significantly less than in the control even in the absence of leaf necrosis. Normal growth resumed following closure of the phosphate plant. Needle growth followed an opposite pattern. Needle length was positively correlated with fluoride levels and negatively correlated with radial growth. Stimulation of needle elongation appeared to be the earliest response of needles to fluorides. Growth suppression was evident at higher concentrations. Needle burning and mortality developed when fluoride concentration of the leaves exceeded several hundred ppm.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Laboratory Technician, Dept. of Botany, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Publication date: 1967-06-01

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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

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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