, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 27-34

Nutrient proportions in foliage of semi-mature loblolly pine

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Nitrogen and phosphorus limitations to growth are common in many loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stands. Interactions of these nutrients may complicate interpretation of foliar nutrient analysis for predicting response to forest fertilization. Proportions of foliar nutrient concentrations (and the changes in these proportions following fertilization) were examined in 36 semi-mature loblolly pine plantations in the southeastern United States. Mean proportions of nutrient concentrations (N∶P∶K∶Ca∶Mg) for non-fertilized stands were 100∶9.3∶36.5∶17.2∶9.2. Potassium and phosphorus were higher. Nitrogen fertilization generally decreased the P∶N ratio and enhanced growth, indicating a nitrogen deficiency in most stands under study. Additions of nitrogen and phosphorus together yielded a significant increase in the P∶N ratio. Effects of fertilization effects on other nutrient concentration ratios were also examined.

Paper No. 9401 of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC 27695.