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Title Early effects of acid mist on Sitka spruce planted on acid peat.CEH Staff publications
Name(s) Sheppard, L.J. (Lucy)
Crossley, A (Alan)
Cape, J N (Neil)
Harvey, F J (Frank)
Parrington, J (Jude)
White, C
Publication 1999
Subjects T07059e5; CEH staff publication;
Abstract Ten year old Sitka spruce [Picea sitchensis (BONG.) CARR.], growing in a commercial plantation, on a drained, acid peat were sprayed with simulated mist providing a 'no spray', N alone, S alone and a combination of N, S and acidity at pH 5 and 2.5, (single and double dose) treatments. Approximately twice weekly from May (budburst) to December, six treatments (equivalent to 2 mm precipitation) Na2SO4, NH4NO3, H2SO4 + NH4NO3 at pH 2.5 (single and double dose), and pH 5 and an unsprayed control were applied, to four replicate chambers of 10 trees. The treatment 'chambers' comprised a framework of poles, supporting 2 full cone sprayers per tree mounted within 0.5 m of the tops of the trees, without wall structures. This paper reports some sensitive indicators of treatment effects, stemwood growth, foliar chemistry and frost hardiness, together with measurements of soil chemistry after one and two treatment seasons. In the first year of treatment no significant effects on growth were found although stem basal area increment increased by approximately 50%. After one year of treatment there was a tendency for shoots receiving N/acidity to be least frost hardy when tested in December (by approximately 4 degrees C). Foliar S, N and Mg concentrations were significantly increased in response to S and N additions. In the second year, no biologically significant effects were found. Two years of treatment with N and S, both with and without acidity, still failed to affect growth measured as relative stem basal area increment. However, relative increments in stem volume indicated a significant positive response to the acidified S + N treatments after two treatment seasons. Initial findings are discussed in relation to results from similar studies in controlled environments and the field. Early indications are that the sail nutrient supply is dominating the tree response to N, S and acid treatment. And that acidified S and N inputs are not damaging the trees but have stimulated gro
Language English;
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