Nutrient pools and fluxes of the ground vegetation in coniferous forests due to fertilizing, liming and amelioration

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The effects of fertilization and amelioration treatments on some nutrient pools and fluxes of ground vegetation in mature pine and spruce stands on acid soils in South Germany are described. In N-limited pine forests with moderate canopy density and with Deschampsia flexuosa an additional N-accumulation in biomass of 20-40 kg ha-1 occurred 3 years after pure N-fertilization. The N, P, K-cycling through ground vegetation was stimulated more than 10 years by a combined N + CaCO3 + P treatment leading toa shift in dominance from cryptogams and Ericaceae towards Deschampsia flexuosa and ruderal species like Epilobium angustifolium. The effect of a lupine treatment (combined with initial soil preparation, liming and P supply) was far stronger than the effect of the other experimental procedures. But the fertilizer and amelioration effects on the herb layer of pine forests tended to decline after two decades for different reasons. The shade-tolerant ground vegetation in a nitrogen-saturated spruce forest was not able to prevent heavy additional nitrate losses from upper mineral soil after dolomitic liming. But the Ca, Mg and K fluxes through ground vegetation were strongly elevated in the third year after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-390
Number of pages8
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • coniferous forests
  • fertilization
  • ground vegetation
  • liming
  • nutrient fluxes
  • nutrient pools


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