Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 116, Issue 1–2, pp 99–110 | Cite as

Nitrogen and Its Effect on Growth, Nutrient Status and Parasite Attacks in Beech and Norway Spruce

  • Walter Flückiger
  • Sabine Braun


In permanent observation plots across Switzerland, nitrogen (N) concentration in the foliage of mature beech has increased by 15% and phosphorus (P) concentrations in beech and mature Norway spruce decreased by 12 and 13% respectively between 1984 and 1995, leading to increased N:P ratios. Modelled N deposition was correlated with stem increment in both beech and spruce, with indications of P limitation in some beech plots. Experimental application of 0-160 kg N ha-1> yr-1> over four to five years caused nutrient imbalances in various afforestation plots comparable to those observed in the permanent observation plots. The changes in the trees caused by N treatment led to increased attacks by parasites such as Apiognomonia errabunda, Phomopsis sp., Phyllaphis fagi in beech and Botrytis cinerea, Sacchiphantes abietis and Cinara pilicornis in Norway spruce. The results suggest current N deposition in Switzerland induces significant changes in the forest ecosystem.

Nitrogen Fagus sylvatica Picea abies nutrition growth parasite attack 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Flückiger
    • 1
  • Sabine Braun
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Applied Plant BiologySchönenbuchSwitzerland

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