Content of macronutrients in needles and litterfall in Norway spruce stands of different age in the Potok Dupniański catchment, the Silesian Beskid
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The nutrient content of needles and litterfall in different age classes of planted Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst] was determined in the Potok Dupniański catchment, the Silesian Beskid in 1999–2003. The results were put in relation to age, vitality and health of the stands. The methods were according to the guidelines of the ICP – Forest Manual. In each spruce stand (1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th age class) needles were taken during August 1999 and 2003, and litterfall was sampled during five years. Material from litterfall traps was dried and sorted into: needles, cones, seeds, shoots and "others". The content of C, N, S, K, Ca and Mg was determined in both needles and litterfall fractions. Concentrations of K, Mg and Ca in needles were below optimum level. The ratios between sulphur and nitrogen with respect to cations increased after 5 years, which indicated losses of basic cations from the spruce stands, and especially in the oldest spruce stands. This may change the vitality and health of spruce. Litterfall did not seem to cover the needs of K, Mg and Ca for proper development of Norway spruce stands. In order to improve their stability we have to increase the retention and availability of basic cations.
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