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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Effects of simulated long-term N deposition on Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris growth in boreal forest

From, Fredrik; Lundmark, Tomas; Mörling, Tommy; Pommerening, Arne; Nordin, Annika


Modelling studies have suggested that atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition will increase forest carbon sequestration by stimulating tree growth. However, few long-term experiments studying N deposition effects on tree growth in boreal forests have been reported. This study empirically explores the relation between application rates of N, simulating levels of N deposition relevant for Europe, and the growth of Picea abies (L.) Karst. and Pinus sylvestris L. in a low N deposition area (<2 kg N.ha(-1).year(-1)), we manually added 0, 12.5, and 50 kg N.ha(-1).year(-1) to a forest site dominated by P. abies for 19 years and 0, 3, 6, 12.5, and 50 kg N.ha(-1).year(-1) to a forest site dominated by P. sylvestris for 10 years. On both sites, linear regression analyses displayed significant relations between mean annual tree growth and N additions: P. abies relative growth rate increased by 1.2% per kg N added and that of P. sylvestris increased by 1.6% per kg N added. The growth response, however, varied over time, highlighting the necessity for long-term experiments to apprehend effects of eutrophication on forests. Generally, our study confirms the results of previous modelling studies assessing forest growth responses to N deposition over Europe.


anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition; repeated N addition; forest growth; Norway spruce; Scots pine

Published in

Canadian Journal of Forest Research
2016, Volume: 46, number: 11, pages: 1396-1403