Canadian Forest Service Publications

Response at the foliar, tree, and stand levels to nitrogen fertilization: a physiological perspective. 1992. Hinckley, T.M.; Friend, A.L.; Mitchell, A.K. Pages 82-89 in N.J. Chapell, G.F. Weetman, and R.E. Miller, Editors. Forest fertilization: sustaining and improving nutrition and growth of western forests. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Year: 1992

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 3273

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Abstract

Key issues involving the role of nutrition in tree growth processes are presented at three levels of biological organization: the organ, the whole plant, and the stand. At the organ or foliar level, the strong linear response between foliar nitrogen levels and photosynthetic potential has been hypothesized to be a universal response in plants. Data on forest species, especially evergreen conifers, suggest a more complex relationship. The relationship between the potential for foliage to retranslocate nitrogen during shoot expansion and foliage longevity is also presented at this level. At the tree level, two issues appear critical: Is foliar nitrogen content optimized throughout the crown so that maximum carbon gain is realized? How does nitrogen stress control the allocation of carbon to the roots? At the stand level, the impact of carbon going to structures other than the stem (i.e., fine roots) and the interaction between canopy nitrogen and stand leaf area are examined. The use of fertilizers and water as management techniques to enhance productivity is integrated into the discussion of these issues.