Full text in PDF
An imbalanced nutrient status in Scots pine stands on drained mires is primarily a consequence of excess nitrogen (N) in relation to mineral nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). In this study, the variation of foliar N, P, and K concentrations relative to some site and environmental characteristics was examined. Foliar nutrient concentrations were determined on needle samples collected from mires representing different drainage ages, site types, geographical locations and annual weather conditions. In the overall data (n = 971 samples in 333 stands) the foliar N concentration varied between 6.7 and 24.2 mg g-1, the P concentration between 0.83 and 2.32 mg g-1, and the K concentration between 2.22 and 6.23 mg g-1. The original (pre-drainage) mire site type proved to be an important factor in explaining the nutrient status of the trees: on originally forested sites, the nutrient balance (N versus K; N versus P) was mostly adequate, whereas on sparsely forested and treeless sites, K deficiency was common. N deficiency was the most common in forested ‘nitrogen-poor’ sites, while P and K deficiencies were more common in originally treeless or sparsely forested ‘nitrogen rich’ sites, where the nutrient imbalance was also the greatest. Over the whole data, 29% of the cases were diagnosed to be N-deficient, 51% P-deficient, and 25% K-deficient. The foliar N concentration increased with increasing temperature sum. The foliar K concentration decreased with increasing depth of the peat layer. On former treeless or sparsely forested sites, foliar K decreased slightly with increasing drainage age. In contrast, on thin-peated sites the foliar P concentration increased with increasing drainage age. The climate conditions (location), the original site type of the mire and peat thickness should be taken into account when planning silvicultural measures on mires drained for forestry.