Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
Litters of different plant species vary greatly in regard to their nutrient content and other properties. The aim of the study was to compare different litters from the standpoint of their value as soil fertilizer. In an experiment Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were grown in pot cultures in which known amounts of different litters had been mixed with the soil. The tested litters were Pinus sylvestris (L.), Larix sibirica (Ledeb.), Betula sp., Populus tremula (L.), Alnus incana (L.) Moench, A. glutinosa (L.) (Gaertn.), Sorbus aucuparia (L.), Tilia cordata (Mill.), Acer platanoides (L.), Corylus avellana (L.), Eupteris aquilina (L.), and Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin.
A striking difference was found between alder (Alnus sp.) leaf litter and all the other litters tested. The difference can be seen from the second growth season on, becaus the young seedling uses mainly the nutrients included in the seed. The leaf litter has mainly unfavourable effect on the growth of the pine seedlings. Only both alder species improve the growth. This is mainly due to the nitrogen content of alder leaves. Tree leaves and other forest litter are often composted in the forest nurseries. It seems that adding nitrogen to the compost is necessary, otherwise compost added to the soil may have a harmful effect on the seedlings. Alder, on the other hand, has nitrogen binding Actinomyces growing in symbiosis in its root nodules, and is able to utilize atmospheric nitrogen.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The potential alleopathic inhibitive effects of aqueous extracts of 13 peatland plant species on germination, radicle and seedling growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), silver and downy birch (Betula pendula Roth., B. pubescens Ehrh.) were studied. Freshly cut plant parts were finely ground, mixed with distilled water and agitated. The proportions of fresh plant mass in the mass-based extracts varied within the range of 1, 5, 10 and 20% (w/w). The seeds were germinated in petri dishes moistened with the plant extracts. In a separate experiment growth of birch seedlings irrigated with the extracts was studied.
Ledum palustre, Vaccinium uliginosum and Empetrum nigrum extracts, and in certain experiments extracts of other species, inhibited the germination of Scots pine and birch seeds. Results from the different experiments were not, however, fully consistent. None of the low (1% w/w) extract concentrations had any effect on germination. Strong extract concentrations (20% w/w) inhibited germination of pine seedlings significantly. The extracts affected only slightly the growth of potted birch seedlings.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The effect of root exposure on the shoot and root development of Pinus sylvestris (L.) seedlings was studied at two soil temperatures. Roots of bare-rooted three-year-old seedlings were exposed to the temperature of 32°C at relative humidity of 50–40% for 85, 155 and 270 minutes which corresponds to accumulated water pressure deficit of 24, 47 and 91 mbar·h, respectively. Thereafter, seedlings were grown for 65 days at the soil temperatures of 12 and 23°C. Drought exposures inhibited new root initiation, delayed shoot elongation, and reduced shoot and needle growth. The stronger the exposure the larger the proportion of needles from the lower part of current shoot that remained undeveloped. Low soil temperature increased the effect of exposures so that needle elongation and initiation of new root tips of seedlings in cold soil with the longest exposure were inhibited totally. Root growth assessments made in warm soil may overestimate the acclimation potential of planted seedlings.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.