Growth, nutrient, water relations, and gas exchange in a holm oak plantation in response to irrigation and fertilization uri icon

abstract

  • Eighty 6-years-old Quercus ilex L. subsp. ballota seedlings planted on a former agricultural land were subjected during two growing seasons to one of four treatments: fertilization and irrigation, irrigation, fertilization, and control. Seasonal and between-treatment variations on water relations, gas exchange parameters, growth and nutrient status were analyzed. Water potential (&UPsi;) was related to climatic conditions. Thus, the frequent rain storms during the summer allow seedlings to maintain relatively high &UPsi; values, joined to moderate photosynthetic activity. Differences on &UPsi;, photosynthesis and stomatal conductance due to irrigation were shown at the onset and end of growth, related with lower water availability. Fertilization had a greater effect on growth than irrigation. Both fertilization and irrigation positively affected the relative increment on leaf nutrient concentration at the end of the second year. The results indicate that water availability was not a limited factor, thus irrigation is not justified; while fertilization improve growth.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005