Morphology and foliar chemistry of containerized Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir. seedlings as affected by water availability and nutrition
Department of Forestry, Michigan State University,
126 Natural Resources Building,
East Lansing, Michigan
2 Department of Horticulture and Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, A214 Plant and Soil Sciences Building, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
* Corresponding author:
Accepted: 8 December 2009
• We present the results of a two-year (2007–2008) greenhouse study investigating the effect of water availability and nitrogen fertilization on the growth, biomass partitioning, and foliar nutrient content of Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.
• Fertilizer and moisture content (irrigation) were varied in a factorial experiment combining four levels of irrigation and three levels of fertilization to evaluate growth and foliar nutrient content. In addition, a numerical optimization was used to estimate appropriate levels of each factor necessary to achieve simulated goals for response variables.
• Irrigation increased the height growth by 12 to 35% depending on the fertilization treatment (p = 0.0001). Fertilization increased height growth by 10 to 26% (p = 0.02). A similar response was observed for stem diameter growth (SDG). Total biomass accumulation increased as result of positive response of stem and root biomass development, and foliar nitrogen content was positively affected by nitrogen fertilization and negatively affected by irrigation. The numerical optimization for simulated target growth and nitrogen content responses produced levels of input combinations with high desirability factors to achieve the target responses.
• These results suggest that nutrient addition is a strong determining factor for early development of this species. The improved growth efficiency in this study is likely attributed to a combination of factors including, improved photosynthetic capacity, decreased stomatal limitations, or increased resource allocation to stems.
Key words: Abies fraseri / biomass / water stress / foliar nitrogen / nutrient uptake
© INRA, EDP Sciences, 2010