Plant and Soil

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 191–200 | Cite as

Phosphorus deficiency induced by nitrogen input in Douglas fir in the Netherlands

  • G. M. J. Mohren
  • J. Van Den Burg
  • F. W. Burger


A re-examination of earlier NPK fertilization experiments in Douglas fir stands on sandy soils shows the effects of high nitrogen input by air pollution during the last 10–15 years on plant nutrition at these sites. In 1960, experimental plots showed a positive growth reaction to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilization. All suffered from severe phosphorus deficiency in 1984, low phosphorus in the needles was invariably accompanied by a high nitrogen content, with all N/P ratios between 20 and 30. The same conclusion emerges from an independent investigation of nutrient status of a selection of Douglas fir stands. Hence, if stand productivity and a balanced nutrient status of the trees is to be maintained, the increase in atmospheric input of nitrogen calls for supplementary fertilization. Given the current N/P ratios in the needles, a positive growth response to phosphorus fertilization is to be expected.

Key words

Atmospheric input Douglas fir Fertilization Foliar analysis Forest nutrition N/P ratio Nitrogen Nutrient status Phosphorus 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. J. Mohren
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Van Den Burg
    • 3
  • F. W. Burger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical Production EcologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of SilvicultureAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Research Institute for Forestry and Landscape Planning “sDe Dorschkamp’WageningenThe Netherlands

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