Aluminum Toxicity in Forest Tree Seedlings
The response of forest tree seedlings to aluminum concentrations was investigated. A growth technique was used in which nutrients were present in low concentrations in a circulating solution. Plant nutrition and relative growth rate were maintained in steady-state by adding the nutrients in Optimum proportions at a constant relative addition rate. After a period of steady-state growth, aluminum was added to the nutrient solution in different concentrations.
Permanent decrease in growth rate occurred if aluminum concentration exceeded 0.5 to 1 mmol.dm−3 (Norway spruce). 1 to 3 mmol.dm−3 (European birch), and 3 to 5 mmol.dm−3 (Scots pine). Lethal concentrations were 6 to 10 mraol.dm−3 (Norway spruce), 10 to 12 mmol.dm−3 (European birch) and 25 to 30 mmol.dm−3 (Scots pine). The response was the same for birch whether grown under Optimum or nutrient-stress conditions and for Scots pine grown with or without the mycorrhiza Suillus bovinus.
Thus, Norway spruce appears to be the species most sensitive to aluminum and Scots pine the most tolerant of the studied species. However, the results indicate that aluminum is probably not a serious hazard for Norway spruce, European birch or Scots pine since reported aluminum concentrations in soil solution are seldom higher than 0.5 mmol.dm−3.
KeywordsRelative Growth Rate Aluminum Concentration Physiol Plant Growth Technique Aluminum Toxicity
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