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Growth and nitrogen retranslocation of nutrient-loaded clonal Betulaalnoides transplanted with or without fertilization

Chen, L., Ma, Y., Li, H., Zeng, J., Dell, B. and Li, Z. (2021) Growth and nitrogen retranslocation of nutrient-loaded clonal Betulaalnoides transplanted with or without fertilization. Forests, 12 (11). Article 1603.

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Nutrient loading can improve the growth and nutrient content of nursery-grown Betula alnoides Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don, but it is unknown whether nutrient loading enhances growth and nutrient uptake after transplanting. Plants were grown with three nutrient loading treatments (N100, N200, and N400; 100, 200, and 400 mg N per plant as 15N-urea) in nursery containers and then transplanted into plastic pots, with or without controlled-release fertilizer (F0 and F10, 0 and 10 g per plant). The N400 plants had a smaller size but higher nitrogen concentration relative to the N100 and N200 plants before transplanting. However, 180 days after transplanting, the N200 and N400 plants had superior root collar diameter, root length, and root area compared to the N100 plants, due to an increase in 15N retranslocation to new stems and new leaves. Moreover, transplant fertilization (F10) enhanced the height, root collar diameter, root length, and plant dry mass, but not nitrogen concentration or retranslocation, relative to F0. We recommend that medium- and high-dose nutrient loading is implemented in B. alnoides nurseries to optimize growth after transplanting. Additional fertilizer at transplanting may be advantageous in supporting growth, owing to the rapid depletion of nutrient reserves after planting out in the field.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors
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