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Manipulating nutrient and water availability in a maritime pine plantation: effects on growth, production, and biomass allocation at canopy closure

Abstract : We present here the results of a water and nutrient manipulation experiment in a five-year-old plantation of maritime pine in south-western France. Water and nutrient levels were manipulated in a factorial design with two levels of irrigation (control receiving only rainfall (C) and irrigated (I)) and three levels of fertilisation (control with no added nutrients (C), P-only (P) and annual addition of a complete nutrient mix (F)) in order to quantify growth limitations of plantation forest in this particular area. The treatments applied during five years increased above-ground biomass annual increment by 4% (I) to 58% (IF) with respect to the control (C). The fertilised plots had a slightly non-significant lower root-to-shoot ratio. The effect of irrigation was maximal in 2002, resulting in 6%, 7% and 12% higher growth rate on the F, C and P plots, respectively. A windstorm disturbed the experiment in 1999 and has affected preferentially the fertilised plots, with IF plots displaying 60% damage. The higher growth rate of fertilised and irrigated plots was attributed to both an increase (estimated at 5 to 15%) in the amount of light absorbed by the canopy, and an increase (estimated at 26% for IF plots) in the amount of above-ground biomass produced annually per unit leaf area.
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Pierre Trichet, Denis Loustau, Catherine Lambrot, Sune Linder. Manipulating nutrient and water availability in a maritime pine plantation: effects on growth, production, and biomass allocation at canopy closure. Annals of Forest Science, Springer Nature (since 2011)/EDP Science (until 2010), 2008, 65 (814), n.p. ⟨10.1051/forest:2008060⟩. ⟨hal-02660330⟩

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