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Effect of Air-filled Porosity and Organic Matter Concentration of Soil on Growth of Picea abies Seedlings after Transplanting

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The effects of air-filled porosity (AFP) and organic matter concentration (OMC) of soil on the growth of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] seedlings were studied in a greenhouse experiment. One-year-old seedlings were planted into 250 pots filled with five different growth media based on low-humified sphagnum peat and fine sand. The media were mixed to achieve five levels of OMC (1, 25, 50, 75 and 97% by mass). Five AFP levels (5, 10, 20, 30 and 40%) were applied to the mixtures of growth media during irrigation. The growth attributes of the seedlings were measured after seedlings had grown in the greenhouse for 15 weeks. The shoot height and mass growth as well as root mass were significantly higher in 20, 30 and 40% AFP than in 5 and 10% AFP (p<0.05). The longest shoots were produced in growth media with 25, 50 and 75% OMC (p<0.05). The effect of OMC on root mass, while significant (p=0.03), was less pronounced than the effect on height growth and mass of the shoots (p<0.001). The results indicate that, for good seedling growth in pots in greenhouse conditions, AFP should be 20-40% and OMC 25-75% in the growth medium.

Keywords: Growth medium; Norway spruce; peat; sand; soil aeration

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Finnish Forest Research Institute Kannus Research Station FI-69101 Box 44 Kannus 2: Finnish Forest Research Institute Suonenjoki Research Station Juntintie 40 FI-77600 Suonenjoki

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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