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Nitrogen and Family Effects on Biomass Allocation of Loblolly Pine Seedlings

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Biomass of stem, needles, and roots were determined for seedlings of 23 open-pollinated loblolly pine families alter 20 weeks' growth in a greenhouse under two nitrogen (N) levels (5 and 50 ppm). Allometric analysis was used to determine the N and family effects on the biomass allocation. Nitrogen had significant effects on seedling growth and biomass allocation to stem, needles, and roots. Low N resulted in smaller seedling size, but relatively more biomass was allocated to roots than under the high N condition. N stress generally favored biomass allocation to roots at the expense of needles or both needles and stem. Relative allocation of biomass to roots was significantly different among families with low N but not with high N. Larger seedlings exhibited greater allocation to roots possibly as a result of greater N stress. Different patterns of biomass allocation among loblolly pine families were related to their stem weight and height. Families with superior stem weight and height in both N environments had the largest root biomass proportional to seedling size in low N and had the smallest under the high N treatment. For. Sci. 37(1):271-283.

Keywords: Allometric relationships; Pinus taeda L; allocation; nitrogen stress

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695-8002

Publication date: March 1, 1991

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