Excess nitrogen affects the frost sensitivity of the inner bark of Norway spruce

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Abstract

The sensitivity to frost in the living inner bark of trees have been hypothesised to be influenced by acid rain and N deposition through changes in nutrient balance and carbon metabolism. At the Skogaby experimental site, situated in southern Sweden, Norway spruce in control plots, plots fertilized with ammonium sulphate and plots fertilized with mineral nutrients except N were compared in this respect. Frost sensitivity was measured by electrolytic leakage and expressed as an index of injury. The results showed increased sensitivity to frost in the bark of trees treated with continuous applications of ammonium sulphate for 11 years. This was probably not only a direct effect of high nitrogen availability, but also caused by insufficient levels of other nutrients due to the rapid growth and changes in soil chemistry induced by the addition of ammonium sulphate. Mainly Mg and K seemed to be of importance for retaining a good frost resistance, supporting the hypothesis that nutrient imbalances increases the risk for development of frost related bark lesions in southern Sweden.

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  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-298
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Volume61
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes