Fall fertilization of Holm oak affects N and P dynamics, root growth potential, and post-planting phenology and growth
- 239 Downloads
For Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.), a flush growing species, nutrient loading during the growing season is difficult and can lead to a low nutrient status of the seedlings. To provide insights about Holm oak nutrient dynamics during fall in the nursery and subsequent planting performance, a factorial nursery experiment was conducted in a mild fall–winter area testing the effects of timing of fertilization (early and late fall) and rate (two doses of a NPK fertilizer that applied 28 and 56 mg N per seedling), followed by an experimental plantation.
Biomass, allocation pattern, shoot N and K, and root K were unaffected by both rate and timing of fall fertilization. However, shoot P concentration of fall fertilized plants was significantly increased, and root P concentration was enhanced by applying fertilizer at either the highest rate or during early fall. This revealed a different nutrient dynamics during fall that was dependent on the specific nutrient and plant component.
Root growth potential was positively correlated to nursery root P concentration. Six months after planting, fall fertilized plants showed higher shoot biomass, higher proportion of new leaves, and faster development, producing leaves earlier compared with unfertilized plants.
It is concluded that early fall fertilization promotes nutrient loading of P in Holm oak, with significant effects on root growth potential and field growth by means of a phenologically earlier development and a higher aboveground biomass.
KeywordsLate season fertilization Quercus ilex Nutrient loading Phosphorus Root growth potential
We thank Francisco Conde for the help in the plantation. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the University of Córdoba and Andalucía Research Programs to promote research groups activities. Additionally, this research was partially supported by MEC projects Dinamed (CGL2005-05830-C03-02), Interbos (CGL2008-04503-CO3-02), and Encinut (AGL2006-12609-CO2-01) and co-financed by FEDER funds. The comments of two anonymous reviewers substantially improved the manuscript.
- Fernández M, Alejano R, Domínguez L, Tapias R (2008) Temperature controls cold hardening more effectively than photoperiod in four Mediterranean broadleaf evergreen species. Tree Forest Sci Biotechnol 2(1):43–49Google Scholar
- Jacobs DF, Salifu KF, Davis AS (2009) Drought susceptibility and recovery of transplanted Quercus rubra seedlings in relation to root system morphology. Ann For Sci 66(504):12Google Scholar
- Landis TD, Van Steenis E (2004) Macronutrients—phosphorus. In: Dumroese RK, Landis T (eds) Forest nursery notes. USDA Forest Service, R6-CP-TP-07-04, pp 6–14Google Scholar
- Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación (1994) Métodos oficiales de análisis. Secretaría General Técnica, Dirección General de Política Alimentaria, Madrid, 782 ppGoogle Scholar
- Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación (2000) Catálogo Nacional de Regiones de Procedencia de especies forestales. Boletín Oficial del Estado 114:17467–17488Google Scholar
- Ministry of Forestry and Range (2007) ANOVA: factorial designs with a separate control. Biometrics Information Pamphlets #14. http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hre/biopamph/
- Oliet J, Tejada M, Salifu F, Collazos A, Jacobs DF (2009b) Performance and nutrient dynamics of Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) seedlings in relation to nursery nutrient loading and post-transplant fertility. Eur J For Res 128:253–263Google Scholar
- Poorter L, Van de Plassche M, Willems S, Boot RGA (2004) Leaf traits and herbivory rates of tropical tree species differing in successional status. Plant Biol 6:1–9Google Scholar
- Terradas J, Savè R (1999) Holm oak and Holm oak forests: an introduction. In: Rodà F, Retana J, Gracia C, Bellot J (eds) Ecology of Mediterranean evergreen oak forests. Ecological Studies. Springer, Berlin, pp 3–14Google Scholar
- Timmer VR, Aidelbaum AS (1996) Manual for exponential nutrient loading of seedlings to improve outplanting performance on competitive forest sites. NODA/NFP Tech. Rep., TR-25. Nat. Resour. Can., Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, 21 ppGoogle Scholar