, Volume 168-169, Issue 1, pp 501-504

Growth response to different types of NPK-fertilizer in Norway spruce plantations in Western Denmark

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In Norway spruce planted on former heathland and fertilized to increase production, a series of experiments (72 sample plots) was established throughout Central and Western Jutland (Denmark) during the springs of 1978 and 79. The sample plots were all fertilized with 120 kg nitrogen in each of two five-year periods. Different types of mixed nitrogen/potassim/phosphorus fertilizer were applied. According to results from fertilization trials in the 1950s and 60s a gain of 3–4 m3 · ha-1 · year-1 was expected. In contrast to these earlier findings, only 0, 76 m3 · ha-1 · year-1 was gained over the two periods as an average of all sample plots. The initial assumption that nitrogen is the main limiting factor for tree growth in Western Denmark no longer seems valid. The results might indicate that due to increasing nitrogen deposition during the 1970s and 80s, potassium and maybe phosphorus are developing into new minimum factors, limiting tree growth and devitalizing the forest ecosystem. Hence, fertilization on these soils should mainly be considered as a way to compensate such nutrient imbalances.