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The effects of fertilization on the health status, nutrition and growth of Norway spruce forests with yellowing symptoms

Vacek, Stanislav, Vacek, Zdeněk, Ulbrichová, Iva, Remeš, Jiří, Podrázský, Vilém, Vach, Marek, Bulušek, Daniel, Král, Jan, Putalová, Tereza
Scandinavian journal of forest research 2019 v.34 no.4 pp. 267-281
NPK fertilizers, Picea abies, acid soils, acidity, base saturation, calcium, climatic factors, defoliation, exchangeable aluminum, forests, health status, leaves, magnesium, manganese, mountains, nutrient content, nutrition, phosphorus content, trees, Czech Republic
We studied the effects of magnesium (Mg) NPK fertilizer applied in 2000 to maturing Norway spruce (Picea abies /L./ Karst.) stands with yellowing symptoms and situated on poor acidified soils in the Šumava mountains (the Czech Republic). Long-term defoliation, nutrient content in the foliage and diameter increment were evaluated in three specific variants: yellowing trees, trees without yellowing symptoms and fertilized trees. The results indicate differences in soil characteristics, nutrient content and radial growth with response to climate. Fertilization increased Mg content and base saturation in the soil and decreased the amount of exchangeable aluminum and hydrolytic acidity. Differences were significant especially in magnesium, calcium and phosphorus contents in the foliage of yellowing trees. There was also a significant difference in manganese content; yellowing trees showed deficiency in comparison with both fertilized and unfertilized healthy trees. Two years after the initial fertilization (to present), defoliation and yellowing symptoms in the unfertilized yellowing trees were more pronounced compared to other variants. These symptoms were more influenced by fertilization than foliation. The duration of significant positive effects of fertilization on diameter increment lasted for a shorter time than the effect on foliage. Simultaneously, higher sensitivity to climatic factors was observed in the fertilized trees.