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Research article2003Peer reviewed

Effects of different soil treatments on growth and net nitrogen uptake of newly planted Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings

Nordborg F, Nilsson U, Orlander G


Five soil treatments in a 4-year-old clearcut in southern Sweden affected biomass increase and net nitrogen uptake by planted Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings through their on net mineralisation and root growth. The patch soil treatments studied were: (i) soil inversion in an old clearcut; (ii) mineral soil from the clearcut remaining, (iii) mineral soil from the clearcut with fertiliser application during the first season; (iv) mineral soil from a nearby uncut forest replacing the clearcut mineral soil; and (v) an untreated control. Growth increased in seedlings in treatments (i) and (iii), but growth in soil treatments with humus removal was not better than that of seedlings in untreated soil. High N uptake early in the first growing season resulted in increased growth during this season in contrast to late N uptake that resulted in a high N concentration in the seedlings after the first growing season. This in turn led to a high growth rate during the next growing season. Generally, both root growth and net N mineralisation were positively correlated to N uptake in the soil treatments. Therefore, a combination of low net N mineralisation and poor root growth as a result of high soil density appears to explain the low N uptake in seedlings in undisturbed soil. The importance of competition with field vegetation for N and water was not clear. Net mineralisation was larger in soil treatments where the humus layer was retained than where it was removed. Net N mineralisation in soil from old clearcuts was the same as in soil from fresh clearcuts. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2003, Volume: 180, number: 1-3, pages: 571-582