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Title Effects of acid mist on mature grafts of Sitka spruce. Part I. Frost hardiness and foliar nutrient concentrations.CEH Staff publications
Name(s) Sheppard, L.J. (Lucy)
Leith, I D (Ian)
Cape, J N (Neil)
Publication 1994
Subjects T07059b5; CEH staff publication;
Abstract Mature grafts of five clones of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis Bong. Sarg.) were exposed to simulated acid mist composed of an equimolar mixture of sulphuric acid and ammonium nitrate at pH 2.5 and pH 5.0 in open-top chambers from May to November 1991. Treatments were applied on consecutive days, four times a week. The pH 2.5 treatment provided an overall dose three times higher than that received by forests in upland areas of Britain. Frost hardiness was assessed in November by freezing detached current year shoots at a range of temperatures and assessing the rate of electrolyte leakage Foliar nutrient concentrations were determined on the same shoots. Acid mist at pH 2.5 significantly reduced frost hardiness in four of the five clones; the temperature causing 50% shoot death (LT50) was increased by 0 to 7-degrees-C The clones varied in their level of hardiness, one clone being exceptionally frost sensitive. The frost hardiness of the frost sensitive clone was found to be less perturbed by acid mist than the hardiness of the more frost resistant clones. Mature grafts showed a smaller reduction in hardiness at an equivalent dose than that found previously with Sitka spruce seedlings. Compared with seedlings, grafts had lower absolute concentrations of foliar sulphur. Exposure to acid mist at pH 2.5 increased %S in current year foliage by <0.05% compared with absolute increases of more than 0.10% in current year foliage of seedlings. We conclude that the effect of acid mist on frost hardiness is likely to be less on mature trees than on seedlings and that the increased frost risk to mature trees of Sitka spruce from occult deposition alone is small.
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