Canadian Forest Service Publications

Can regional-scale air pollution have a significant impact on hybrid poplar growth under short-rotation forestry. 1994. Hogan, G.D.; Taylor, S.J. Pages 143-150 in Air pollution and multiple stresses: proceedings of the 16th International Meeting for Specialists in Air Pollution Effects on Forest Ecosystems, September 7-9, 1994, Fredericton, NB. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, NB.

Year: 1994

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 5374

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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Abstract

Short-rotation intensive culture of hybrid poplar is practised in southeastern Ontario, a region that is subjected to some of the highest levels of regional-scale air pollution in Canada. We sought to determine if acidic deposition, at ambient levels could influence the growth of hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides X nigra). Specifically, this study examined the effect of a 12-week exposure to simulated acid rain (SAR) on cuttings of hybrid poplar. Cuttings were grown under greenhouse conditions and were exposed to simulated rainfalls of pH 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 5.5 twice a week. Direct effects of SAR on shoot growth rate, biomass distribution and foliar nutrient concentrations were measured. We found no significant effect (P < 0.05) of acid precipitation at the applied pH's, rates, and durations, on hybrid poplar foliar nutrient concentrations, shhot height growth or oven-dry biomass. These results suggest that acidic deposition of pH >3.0 does not act as a strong primary stress on hybrid poplar. They also suggest that under normal cultural conditions in regions where the pH of ambient rainfall is greater than 3.0, the growth of hybrid poplar should be unaffected, over the short term.