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Open AccessArticle

Residual Long-Term Effects of Forest Fertilization on Tree Growth and Nitrogen Turnover in Boreal Forest

1
Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skogsmarksgränd 1, 90183 Umeå, Sweden
2
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7044, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Heinz Rennenberg
Forests 2015, 6(4), 1145-1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6041145
Received: 13 March 2015 / Revised: 1 April 2015 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrition of Trees and Forests)
The growth enhancing effects of forest fertilizer is considered to level off within 10 years of the application, and be restricted to one forest stand rotation. However, fertilizer induced changes in plant community composition has been shown to occur in the following stand rotation. To clarify whether effects of forest fertilization have residual long-term effects, extending into the next rotation, we compared tree growth, needle N concentrations and the availability of mobile soil N in young (10 years) Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. stands. The sites were fertilized with 150 kg·N·ha−1 once or twice during the previous stand rotation, or unfertilized. Two fertilization events increased tree height by 24% compared to the controls. Needle N concentrations of the trees on previously fertilized sites were 15% higher than those of the controls. Soil N mineralization rates and the amounts of mobile soil NH4-N and NO3-N were higher on sites that were fertilized twice than on control sites. Our study demonstrates that operational forest fertilization can cause residual long-term effects on stand N dynamics, with subsequent effects on tree growth that may be more long-lasting than previously believed, i.e., extending beyond one stand rotation. View Full-Text
Keywords: carry-over fertilization effects; forest growth; Picea abies; Pinus sylvestris; N mineralization; in situ incubation; ion-exchange resin (IER) carry-over fertilization effects; forest growth; Picea abies; Pinus sylvestris; N mineralization; in situ incubation; ion-exchange resin (IER)
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From, F.; Strengbom, J.; Nordin, A. Residual Long-Term Effects of Forest Fertilization on Tree Growth and Nitrogen Turnover in Boreal Forest. Forests 2015, 6, 1145-1156.

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