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Planting time, stocktype and additive effects on the development of spruce and pine plantations in Western Carpathian Mts.

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Abstract

Planting of seedlings is the most reliable and speedy way of forest restoration. Routine spring planting of bareroot seedlings is frequently unsuccessful in central Europe. In this study, the effects of planting time and a spring-pre-planting application of ectomycorrhiza-hydrogel additive Ectovit and hydrogel Stockosorb on the development of bareroot and container Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings on windthrow area in Western Carpathians, northwest Slovakia were estimated. Survival and aboveground growth parameters during three consecutive years and root dry weight, short root frequency, soil and needle nutrients concentration and ectomycorrhizal fungi root colonization and identification 2 years after planting were assessed. Regardless of planting time and additive, the best developed bareroot spruce (2 + 2) survived significantly better than container spruce (2 + 0), container pine (2 + 0) and especially small-size bareroot pine (1 + 0); bareroot pine was found unsuitable for planting in conditions of planting site. Both additives improved survival of spring-planted container spruce in the summer-drought second year after planting. Container spruce survived and grew significantly better following fall compared to spring planting time. Higher number of short roots was observed in spring than in fall planted bareroot spruce. Neither planting time nor additives affected root dry weight and abundance of ectomycorrhizae. No significant effects of the treatments on pine development were found. Except of K deficiency in container spruce, sufficient or overabundant foliar macro-nutrients concentration was detected. Visual morphotyping of short roots and identification of ectomycorrhizae by DNA analysis indicated inefficient ectomycorrhizal inoculation of seedlings with Ectovit.

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Data availability

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Miroslav Rybárik for material and organizational support and Jana Povaľačová, Matúš Sendecký and Michal Filípek for technical assistance. Thanks are due to John Mc Loughlin for improving the English and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on the manuscript.

Funding

This study was funded by the Scientific Grant Agency of Ministry of Education of Slovak Republic and Slovak Academy of Sciences (project VEGA 1/0567/21).

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Repáč, I., Belko, M., Krajmerová, D. et al. Planting time, stocktype and additive effects on the development of spruce and pine plantations in Western Carpathian Mts.. New Forests 52, 449–472 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11056-020-09804-3

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Keywords

  • Planting stocktype
  • Planting time
  • Hydrogel
  • Ectomycorrhizal inoculation
  • Norway spruce
  • Scots pine