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Accumulation and re translocation of mineral nutrients in developing needles in relation to seasonal growth of young radiata pine pinus radiata trees



Accumulation and re translocation of mineral nutrients in developing needles in relation to seasonal growth of young radiata pine pinus radiata trees



Annals of Botany (London) 50(6): 817-830



The growth, accumulation and movement of mineral nutrients (N, P, K (Ca)) and chlorophyll in needles of young radiata pine trees (P. radiata D. Don) were examined, from bud break in spring through the following year. Retranslocation of nutrients from needles was measured and is discussed in relation to nutrient requirements for seasonal growth. During the first 4-5 mo. after bud break when most needle growth occurred, all nutrients and chlorophyll accumulated progressively, although the concentrations of N, P and K decreased. During summer, substantial amounts of P were withdrawn from needles < 6 mo. old, regardless of position on the tree and silvicultural practice. In young needles and under certain environmental conditions, this led to a marked temporary decline in concentrations, even in fertilized trees on a fertile site. However, the P content of needles was quickly restored following autumn rains. Similar fluctuations, including nutrient withdrawal in summer, occurred for N and K, but these were smaller than those observed for P, P was also withdrawn from relatively older needles during summer. It was estimated that on a tree basis 86, 48 and 39% of the P, N and K, respectively, in summer shoots could have come from the retranslocation of nutrients from young needles formed during the preceding spring. These results highlight the importance of nutrients stored in needles to meet the nutrient requirements for growth when environmental factors may not be conducive to nutrient uptake from the soil.

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Accession: 004652297

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