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Plant and Soil

, Volume 199, Issue 1, pp 11–22 | Cite as

Effect of acid irrigation and liming on root growth of Norway spruce

  • G. Hahn
  • H. Marschner†
Article

Abstract

The effect of acid irrigation and liming on fine root growth of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) was studied in an approximately 80-year-old forest stand in southern Germany (Höglwald). Root growth was measured mainly on root windows and in addition by soil core sampling. Root growth rate showed a typical pattern in the course of a year with a maximum in August. Acid irrigation depressed root growth rate, whereas liming, particularly in combination with acid irrigation, markedly increased root growth in the humic layer and the upper 0–5 cm of the mineral soil. The treatment effects on root growth in the mineral soil below 5 cm were small and not significant. Root growth rate was not correlated with the concentration of aluminium (Al) or the molar ratio of calcium (Ca) to Al in the soil solution. The results suggest that inhibition of root growth by acid irrigation is a direct effect of high proton concentrations in the irrigation water, and that enhancement of root growth by liming is caused by an improved supply of mineral nutrients and higher biological activity.

acid irrigation aluminium liming Picea abies root growth root window 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Hahn
    • 1
  • H. Marschner†
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Plant NutritionUniversity HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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