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The Influence of Nitrogen Fixation Nonleguminous Woody Plants on the Growth of Pine Seedlings

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Nodulated seedlings of snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus Dougl.) and red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) were grown in low nitrogen content soils in the greenhouse. Pumice and granitic subsoils were used for snowbrush and alder respectively. After nine months the seedlings tops were removed by clipping at the groundline. Monterey pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) was seeded to the pots following removal of the snowbrush and alder seedlings and to pots of fresh soil that received the following levels of nitrogen: 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 ppm. All treatments also received 100 ppm of P. After twelve months the pine seedlings were harvested, weighed to obtain yield data and analyzed for nitrogen. The yield and nitrogen content of the pine seedlings was comparable to 35 ppm added nitrogen for seedlings grown after snowbrush seedlings and 15 ppm for those grown after alder seedlings. The influence of snowbrush, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws.), alder and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb] Franco) litters on the growth of Monterey pine was also investigated. Douglas-fir litters at the rate of 200 grams per 2,500 grams of granitic subsoil had a depressing effect upon the growth of Monterey pine, whereas alder litter had a beneficial effect. Ponderosa pine and snowbrush litter both had beneficial effects on the growth of Monterey pine. The nitrogen content of seedlings grown with added alder and snowbrush litter was higher than those grown with added nitrogen.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Soils, Oregon State University, Corvallis

Publication date: 1964-05-01

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