Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 471–478 | Cite as

N, P, and K characteristics of different age groups of temperate coniferous tree species in northwestern China

Original Paper


This study chose dominant tree species including Picea crassifolia, Pinus armandii and Pinus tabuliformis which are distributed in Qilian Mountains, Xiaolongshan Mountains, and Bailongjiang River. According to the different tree species, ages and components, we sampled leaves, branches, stems, and roots, and measured the contents of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, along with soil fertility. The changes of N, P, and K contents in the different tree species were studied, and the relationship between nutrient content and environmental factors was analyzed. The results indicated that the content of P in all three species was the lowest (0.039–0.28 g kg−1), while N content was the highest (0.095–1.72 g kg−1). As the terminal organ of nutrient transport, the nutrient content of leaves was the highest. P. armandii (0.45 g kg−1) had a higher nutrient concentration than P. tabulaeformis (0.19 g kg−1) and P. crassifolia (0.29 g kg−1). The nutrient content of each species was highest in a young forest, but lowest in a mature forest. The nutrient content of all three tree species was significantly affected by soil nutrient content, and negatively correlated with available soil nutrients.


Different ages Northwestern China N, P, K Tree species 



We appreciated the reviewer’s comments on the previous version of the manuscript, which helped us greatly improve the quality and readability of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Soil and Water ConservationBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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