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Notes: Winter Branch Nutrients in Northern Conifers and Hardwoods

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Distributions of N, K, Ca, and Mg were examined in branch wood and bark of five common forest species growing in a mixed stand in central Ontario. Branches were divided into the following diameter classes (cm): 0.0-0.5, 0.5-1.5, 1.5-2.5, 2.5-5.0, and 5.0-7.5. Concentrations of nutrients in both wood and bark declined exponentially with branch diameter. Wood N concentrations declined more rapidly in hardwoods than in conifers. While K and Mg were strongly concentrated in branch tips, they did not vary significantly along the length of branches >1.5 cm diameter. Levels of Ca in bark did not vary along the entire length of the branch. Proportionately greater declines in nutrient concentrations were found in wood than in bark, indicating a higher degree of nutrient recycling during branch wood formation. Total branch nutrients were greater in hardwoods than in conifers, with higher amounts in hardwood bark more than compensating for the lack of foliage in winter. Although branch bark is the major nutrient reserve for spring growth in hardwoods, nutrients stored in wood may also be significant. For. Sci. 33(4):1068-1074.

Keywords: Retranslocation; bark; cations; nitrogen; wood

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Research Scientist, Canadian Forestry Service, Petawawa National Forestry Institute, Chalk River, Ont., Canada K0J 1J0

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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