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Proll, G; Hietz, P; Delaney, CM; Katzensteiner, K.
(2016): Substrate influences ecophysiological performance of tree seedlings
TREE PHYSIOL. 2016; 36(1): 39-53. FullText FullText_BOKU

Unfavourable soil conditions frequently limit tree regeneration in mountain forests on calcareous bedrock. Rocky, shallow organic soils on dolomite pose a particular problem for tree regeneration due to commonly restricted water and nutrient supplies. Moreover, an often dense layer of understorey vegetation competes for the limited resources available. Hence, an array of interacting factors impairs tree seedlingsxxx performance on dolomite, but there is little information on the ecophysiological mechanisms. We studied the effects of substrate, competing vegetation and foliar nutrient concentrations on the photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance (g(s)) and leaf water potentials (psi) of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.), beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] and larch (Larix decidua Mill.) under controlled (well-watered/drought-stressed) conditions and under prevailing field conditions. While A and g(s) of well-watered spruce in the pot experiment were reduced by the mineral substrate, the organic dolomite substrate with dense competing vegetation reduced g(s) and psi of sycamore, spruce and larch under drought-stressed conditions in the field. For sycamore and spruce, A and g(s) were strongly correlated with foliar nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) concentrations in the pot experiment. In contrast, soil water primarily affected beech and larch. Finally, dense competing vegetation negatively affected A and g(s) of spruce and A of larch on dolomite. Our results highlight the critical role of N, K and water availability for tree seedlings in shallow soils on calcareous bedrock. On these sites, natural tree regeneration is at particular risk from episodic drought, a likely consequence of climate change.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Delaney Christina
Hietz Peter
Katzensteiner Klaus
Pröll Gisela

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
foliar nutrient concentrations
Folic Histosol
gas exchange
multiple stresses
Northern Calcareous Alps
soil types

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