Experimental manipulation of water and nutrient input to a Norway spruce plantation at Klosterhede, Denmark: II. Effects on tree growth and nutrition

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Water and nutrient supply to forest trees are major factors controlling tree growth and forest vitality. Therefore, changes in the supply of water and nutrients to the trees may be important contributing reasons to the forest damages observed in Europe. Such changes may be caused by several factors, e.g. air pollution, soil acidification and climate change. The present study investigates possible effects on tree growth, growth related parameters and nutrition related to changes in the water and nutrient supply. Water and nutrient supply to the forest soil was manipulated in three roof covered plots. The treatments consisted of 1) summer drought, 2) irrigation and 3) combined irrigation and fertilizer application (fertigation). The results from the roof covered treatment plots were compared to a control plot without roof. Increased supply of water during the spring and early summer increased the diameter growth, whereas application of nutrients in addition to irrigation had no additional effect on tree growth. Addition of nutrients increased the needle content of P, Mn, Ca and Mg. Extended summer drought for 2 months had no effect on the tree growth or other growth parameters, but drought reduced the root development in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, drought induced significant stress symptoms by increasing the cone shredding substantially.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
Pages (from-to)613-622
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ID: 347472903