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Long-term effects of nitrogen (N) fertilizer and simulated N deposition on boreal forest growth

From, Fredrik (2014). Long-term effects of nitrogen (N) fertilizer and simulated N deposition on boreal forest growth. Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv.
ISBN 978-576-9225-2
eISBN 978-91-576-9226-9
[Licentiate thesis]

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The studies presented in this thesis aims to increase our understanding of the long-term effects of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) input via fertilization or atmospheric N deposition on tree growth in boreal forest. Firstly, I studied carry-over effects of forest fertilization between tree generations. Growth of 10 years old trees on sites fertilized during the previous tree generation was measured. On sites that were previously fertilized twice (25 and 33 years prior to the study), the young Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees were 24% taller than trees on similar sites that were only fertilized once (25 years prior to the study) or on sites that had never been fertilized. Furthermore, the soil N mineralization rates were 3.7 times higher and the amount of available soil-N 2 times higher on sites that were previously fertilized twice than on other sites.

Secondly, I studied the effects of low annual N addition simulating atmospheric N deposition on tree growth and variables linked to site fertility in two different forest ecosystems, i.e. on one P. abies dominated site and on one P. sylvestris dominated site. On the P. abies dominated site tree growth and needle N concentration were higher on plots treated with 12.5 and 50 kg N ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ than on control plots, which only received background N deposition (1 to 2 kg N ha⁻¹ year⁻¹). P. abies growth increased linearly with 2.5% for every kg of N added, which corresponded to a net sequestration of approximately 19 kg of C per kg N. On the P. sylvestris dominated site tree growth and needle N concentration increased only on plots with the 50 kg N ha⁻¹ year-1 treatment, whereas the low N addition treatments (3, 6 and 12.5 kg N ha⁻¹ year⁻¹) had no effect on tree growth.

In conclusion, I present data suggesting that commercial forest fertilization can have long-term effects on site productivity and consequently tree growth in the tree generation following the one fertilized. I also show data that supports a positive tree growth response to N addition rates similar to those of atmospheric N deposition. However, further studies are needed of how tree growth in naturally nutrient poor P. sylvestris dominated forests respond to low annual N addition rates.

Authors/Creators:From, Fredrik
Title:Long-term effects of nitrogen (N) fertilizer and simulated N deposition on boreal forest growth
Year of publishing :22 May 2014
Number of Pages:49
I.From, F., Strengbom, J., Nordin, A. (2014). Residual long-term effects from forest fertilization on tree growth (manuscript).
II.From, F., Mörling, T., Lundmark, T., Nordin, A. (2014). Effects of simulated N deposition on tree growth in boreal forest (manuscript).
III.Gundale, M.J., From, F., Bach, L.H. & Nordin, A. (2014). Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition in boreal forests has a minor impact on the global carbon cycle. Global Change Biology, 20(1), pp. 276-286.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-576-9225-2
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-9226-9
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F04 Fertilizing
K Forestry > K10 Forestry production
P Natural resources > P35 Soil fertility
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, nitrogen, fertilizer application, forest soils, picea abies, pinus sylvestris, forest trees, growth, carbon sequestration, sweden
Keywords:Annual N addition, Carbon sequestration, Fertilization, Forest growth
Permanent URL:
ID Code:11203
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Mr. Fredrik K. J. From
Deposited On:22 May 2014 08:49
Metadata Last Modified:05 Feb 2016 18:36

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