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The Effect of Fertilization on Growth and Mycorrhizae Numbers in 11-Year-Old Loblolly Pine Plantations

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In a field fertilization study with 11-year-old Pinus taeda fewer mycorrhizal root tips were found in all plots which were fertilized with N except in plots fertilized with N+P+K than were found in nontreated plots or plots fertilized with P only. Nitrogen appeared to be primarily responsible for the fewer number of mycorrhizal root tips when N and P were applied together, since P alone did not affect numbers of mycorrhizal tips. Most differences between N fertilized plots and those not receiving N fertilizer occurred during the first 6 months after fertilization. Height and diameter of Pinus taeda were increased by all fertilization treatments containing N but not by P alone. Concentrations of N increased in the needles of trees in plots which were fertilized with N. Numbers of mycorrhizal tips were inversely correlated with height and diameter growth. This growth was directly correlated with N concentrations in the needles. Phosphorus fertilization increased relative populations of Cenococcum graniforme mycorrhizae and the N+P+K treatment increased the relative population of a second mycorrhizal type. All fertilization treatments decreased the relative population of a third mycorrhizal type. The relative populations of two of the remaining eight types of mycorrhizae found were reduced by some, but not all, fertilization treatments containing either P or N. Manipulation of mycorrhizae type by fertilization may be a useful technique in plantation management. Forest Sci. 23:37-44.

Keywords: Pinus taeda; ectomycorrhizae; soil microbiology; symbiosis

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Director of the North Carolina State Forest Fertilization Cooperative, School of Forest Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Publication date: 1977-03-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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