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Growth and nutrient dynamics of Betula alnoides seedlings under exponential fertilization

Chen, L., Wang, C.M., Dell, B., Zhao, Z., Guo, J., Xu, D. and Zeng, J. (2018) Growth and nutrient dynamics of Betula alnoides seedlings under exponential fertilization. Journal of Forestry Research, 29 (1). pp. 111-119.

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Betula alnoides is a fast-growing hardwood species grown in large plantations in Southeast Asia and South China. Nitrogen requirements for producing robust seedlings, growth and nutrient dynamics were investigated using exponential fertilization treatments. Root collar diameter, height, dry mass and nutrient contents of seedlings increased exponentially in all fertilization treatments as time progressed. Moreover, with water soluble fertilizer (Plant Products plus microelements N–P2O5–K2O: 20–20–20), 300 mg N seedling−1 was adequate. Vector analysis revealed that P was the most responsive nutrient element, followed by N and K. Dilutions of N and K were evident in the plants without N addition, which induced initial P sufficiency and then luxury consumption probably due to the antagonistic interaction between N and P. However, deficiencies of N, P and K were mostly observed in all exponential regimes during the experiment because seedling growth rate exceeded nutrient uptake rate, inferring that further study on improving the nutrient uptake efficiency is needed. Analysis of relationships among nutrient supply, dry mass, N content and N concentration demonstrated that 100–400 mg N seedling−1 induced sufficiency to luxury consumption of nitrogen without significant change in dry mass, and 400 mg N seedling−1 is recommended to apply for nutrient loading of seedlings before outplanting. The findings will help improve seedling quality and enhance the production of robust seedlings for plantation forestry of this species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2017 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
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