Current issue: 56(4)
The long-term effects of fertilization on the needle nutrient concentrations, growth and financial performance of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand was examined in a thick-peated drained peatland forest located in Central Finland. At the trial establishment in 1985, the trees were suffering from P and K deficiencies, but their N status was good. The fertilizer treatments were Control, PK (rock phosphate + potassium chloride), ApaBio (apatite phosphorus + biotite) and wood ash, applied both with and without N and replicated six times. All treatments containing phosphorus and potassium increased foliar P and K concentrations above the deficiency limits up to the end of the study period of 26 years. The effect of the fertilization on stand volume growth of Scots pine was strong and continued still at the end of the study period. The trees on ApaBio and PK plots grew nearly two-fold and those on Ash plots over two-fold compared with the control plots. In a thinning made at the end of the study period the total logging removal on fertilized plots was 1.5–2.2 times greater and included more saw logs than on the control plots. Ash fertilizer treatment outperformed other fertilizer treatments as well as the control. With a 5% discounted equivalent annual income (EAI) of Ash fertilizer treatment was statistically significantly (p=0.009) almost three times higher than that of control. As a conclusion, fertilization (either using PK fertilizers or Ash) in N-rich drained peatlands is a financially feasible method of management.