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iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry

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Response of artificially defoliated Betula pendula seedlings to additional soil nutrient supply

Valda Araminiene, Iveta Varnagiryte-Kabašinskiene   , Vidas Stakenas

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 281-287 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2086-009
Published: Dec 13, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles


The impact of leaf damage on the growth of young silver birch seedlings with and without additional nutrient supply was investigated by simulating leaf-insect damage and applying different levels (25%, 50% and 75%) of artificial defoliation. Based on field-practical and cost-effective methods, we determined how fertilization practices compensate for foliage loss, and the combined effect on silver birch seedling growth. The mineral fertilizers applied to the 25-75%-defoliated silver birch seedlings reduced the growth in aboveground biomass compared to the fertilized but undamaged seedlings. Our results showed that when the birch seedlings received more nutrients they did not compensate for the loss of foliar mass. However, the seedlings loosing part of their foliar mass and receiving no additional fertilizers did compensate for the foliage loss and their root growth was not weakened, using soil nutrients more effectively. Mineral fertilization up to optimal nutritional balance could be a beneficial tool for increasing growth rate and biomass accumulation in the short-term period. However, our study demonstrated that additional fertilization does not necessarily lead to growth compensation of partly defoliated young birch trees.

  Keywords


Betula pendula, Artificial Defoliation, Fertilization, Aboveground Biomass, Photosynthesis

Authors’ address

(1)
Valda Araminiene
Iveta Varnagiryte-Kabašinskiene
Vidas Stakenas
Institute of Forestry, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Liepu str. 1, Girionys, LT-53101, Kaunas district (Lithuania)

Corresponding author

 
Iveta Varnagiryte-Kabašinskiene
iveta.varnagiryte@gmail.com

Citation

Araminiene V, Varnagiryte-Kabašinskiene I, Stakenas V (2016). Response of artificially defoliated Betula pendula seedlings to additional soil nutrient supply. iForest 10: 281-287. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2086-009

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: Apr 12, 2016
Accepted: Nov 13, 2016

First online: Dec 13, 2016
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 1.00 months

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