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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Late Season Changes in Fascicle Nutrient Content, Weight, and Phosphorus Uptake by Slash Pine1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 3, p. 806-808
    Received: June 27, 1986

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  1. N. B. Comerford,
  2. A. V. Mollitor and
  3. W. McFee2



The autumn to winter season in Georgia's and Florida's lower coastal plain is marked by a mild climate and warm soil temperatures. While height growth of pine ceases in late August, climate conditions sustain root growth and needle weight gain. The purpose of this study was to (i) investigate the changes in the needle weight and N, P, K content of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Englm. var. elliottii) crowns that occur between September and January, and (ii) to investigate whether there is measurable uptake of P when applied as fertilizer late in the growing season. In the 12 locations studied, needle weight and total needle content of N and P increased during the fall and winter months. Increases in N and P total needle content ranged from 12 to 95 and 6 to 92%, respectively. Potassium content generally decreased throughout the crown or increased in the bottom portion of the crown only. Measurable uptake of P occurred during this period. Trees fertilized in late September had 49 to 57% more P in their needles by November than those that were unfertilized. This suggests that, in the southern coastal plain, plant uptake of fertilizer or native nutrients should be considered an important process throughout, at least, the autumn season.

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