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Nitrogen-15 Uptake by Pinus contorta Seedlings in Relation to Phenological Stage and Season

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This study measured the amount of uptake of labeled nitrogen (15N) of lodgepole pine (Pinuscontorta Dougl. var. latifolia Engelm) seedlings, at three different phenological stages, in a growth chamber experiment. Thirty days after 15N application, the amount of 15N recovered in seedlings as a percentage of the total 15N fertilizer applied was 4% in early spring, 43% in summer and 33% in autumn. The total 15N recovered in the plantâ–“pot system ranged from 80 to 96%, and is higher than reported in other studies. Total 15N recovered from the pot compartment alone ranged from 48 to 95%, suggesting that substantial pools of N remain in the soil. Results suggest that low 15N uptake in the spring was associated with limited development of new root as a result of low spring soil temperatures. The lack of unsuberized roots in spring could be a key factor decreasing the effectiveness of early spring fertilization in the boreal forest.

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Keywords: 15N recovery; Labeled nitrogen; lodgepole pine; percentage NDFF; simulated seasons

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Renewable Resources, Centre for Enhanced Forest Management, University of Alberta, 4-42 Earth Sciences Building, Edmonton, T6G 2E3, Alberta

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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