Long-term trends of phosphorus nutrition and topsoil phosphorus stocks in unfertilized and fertilized Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stands at two sites in Southern Germany

Jörg Prietzel, Ulrich Stetter

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45 Scopus citations

Abstract

For two Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) ecosystems in S Germany with different atmospheric N deposition (Pfaffenwinkel, intermediate N deposition; Pustert, large N deposition), the supply with phosphorus (P) has been monitored for unfertilized and fertilized plots over more than four decades by foliar analysis (1964-2007). Additionally, topsoil concentrations and stocks of total P and plant-available P (citric-acid-extractable phosphate) were quantified in 10-year intervals (1982/1984, 1994, 2004). At both sites, fertilization experiments, including the variants control, NPKMgCa + lime, PKMgCa + lime + introduction of lupine, corresponding to an addition of 75 and 90 kg ha-1 P in Pustert and Pfaffenwinkel, respectively had been established in 1964. Our study revealed different trends of the P nutritional status for the pines at the two sites during the recent four decades: At Pustert, elevated atmospheric N deposition together with small topsoil P pools resulted in significant deterioration of Scots pine P nutrition and in an increasingly unbalanced N/P nutrition. At Pfaffenwinkel a trend of improved P nutrition from 1964 to 1991 was replaced by an opposite trend in the most recent 15 years. For our study sites, which are characterized by acidic soils with thick O layers, the forest floor stock of citric-acid-extractable phosphate showed a strong and significant correlation with the P concentration in current-year pine foliage, and thus was an appropriate variable to predict the P nutritional status of the stands. Total P stocks as well as the concentrations of total P in the forest floor or in the mineral topsoil were poorly correlated with pine foliar P concentrations and thus inappropriate predictors of P nutrition. P fertilization in the 1960s sustainably improved the P nutritional status of the stands. At Pfaffenwinkel, foliar P concentrations and topsoil stocks of citric-acid-extractable phosphate were increased at the fertilized plots relative to the control plots even 40 years after fertilization; at Pustert, foliar P concentrations were increased for about 20 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1150
Number of pages10
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume259
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Citric-acid-extractable phosphate
  • Foliar analysis
  • Long-term monitoring
  • N deposition
  • P availability
  • Soil phosphorus

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