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Root and Foliar Nutrient Concentrations in Loblolly Pine: Effects of Season, Site, and Fertilization

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Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in the roots and foliage of plantation-grown loblolly pine were examined over a period of 18 months. Samples were collected from 4 sites on the lower coastal plain of North Carolina, each representing a distinct combination of soil moisture and soil fertility. The patterns in foliar and root nutrient concentrations followed similar trends over the course of this study. However, seasonal trends were irregular, suggesting that annual climatic variation may affect seasonal nutrient levels. Nutrient concentrations varied among sites, as did effects of fertilization (225 kg N ha -1, 225 kg N ha -1 + 75 kg P ha -1) on nutrient concentrations. Significant fertilizer effects on nutrient concentrations did not always result in increased volume growth. On some sites, root N and P concentrations appeared to be more sensitive to fertilizer-induced changes than did foliar nutrient levels and may have integrated site factors more effectively than foliar concentrations. Foliage seemed more sensitive to N deficiencies, while the roots detected P deficiencies more often. For. Sci. 33(4):984-996.

Keywords: Pinus taeda; Root nitrogen; phosphorus

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Carl Alwin Schenk Professor of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Publication date: December 1, 1987

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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