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Variation in Total and Soluble Nitrogen Concentrations in Response to Fertilization of Douglas-Fir

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Concentrations of total N (N percent), ninhydrin positive compounds, monosubstituted guanidino compounds, arginine, and proline were determined in current and 1-year-old foliage and twigs of 15-year-old Douglas-fir trees over a 1-year period. N percent and soluble N compound concentrations were high in current shoots after flushing in May and decreased rapidly until August. Soluble N compound concentrations increased more as a result of N fertilization than did N percent. This was also true for phloem (inner bark) samples and root samples. Comparison of total and soluble N analyses of current needles, phloem, and roots, sampled from N fertilizer experiments on four sites, showed phloem analyses were better correlated with needle analyses than were root analyses. Greatest linear correlations occurred between phloem and root analyses. Data from six sites showed growth, and relative growth rate, of Douglas-fir was correlated with initial stand measurements (R² = 0.24 to 0.77) and inclusion of root soluble N compounds in the multiple regressions increased the correlation (R² = 0.41 to 0.85). Root and bark concentrations of arginine and guanidino compounds were most useful in explaining variation in stand growth after fertilizing. Forest Sci. 23:134-142.
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Keywords: Phloem; Pseudotsuga menziesii; arginine; ninhydrin positive compounds; root

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Tree Physiologist, Research Division, B.C. Forest Service, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X5, Canada

Publication date: 1977-06-01

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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 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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