iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Substrates and nutrient addition rates affect morphology and physiology of Pinus leiophylla seedlings in the nursery stage

Mayra Velén Buendía Velázquez, Miguel Ángel López López   , Víctor Manuel Cetina Alcalá, Lamine Diakite

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 115-120 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1982-009
Published: Oct 02, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Production of forest seedlings is expensive mainly due to the use of inputs such as peat moss and fertilizers. Seedling survival in field conditions is low when seedlings with limited internal nutrient reserves are used in low fertility sites. In this work, raw sawdust and exponential fertilization were tested against peat-moss and constant fertilization, the common components of containerized seedling production systems in Mexico. The experiment was carried out under nursery conditions by using a complete randomized experimental design with a 2×2 factorial arrangement. Two substrates   peat-moss (PM) and sawdust (SA)   and two nutrient addition rates   constant (CR) and exponential (ER)   were tested. The response of seedlings was assessed based on diameter at the root collar, seedling height, dry weight (shoot, root, total and 100-needle), Dickson quality index (DQI), slenderness index (SI), and foliar nutrient concentrations and contents. Analysis of variance indicated that the substrate significantly affect all dry weights, with the greatest biomass observed for PM. Similarly, DQI and SI were affected by the substrate, with PM showing the best DQI and highest SI. Neither plant quality variables nor dry weights were affected by nutrient addition rates. Both substrate and nutrient addition rate significantly affected N, P, and K foliar concentrations. At the end of the production cycle, SA promoted higher foliar concentrations of N and P than PM, but not those of K. This suggests that K limited the growth of seedlings in sawdust, likely due to the low capacity of this substrate to adsorb K. ER produced needle concentrations of N, P, and K significantly higher than those of CR (2.65 vs. 2.26 %, 2303 vs. 2011 ppm, and 4235 vs. 3949 ppm, respectively). Our results indicate that ER is likely to give rise to more suited seedlings for outplanting in low fertility sites than CR.


Pinus leiophylla, Peat-moss, Sawdust, Constant and Exponential Fertilization Rate

Authors’ address

Mayra Velén Buendía Velázquez
Miguel Ángel López López
Víctor Manuel Cetina Alcalá
Lamine Diakite
Colegio de Postgraduados Campus Montecillo, Carretera México-Texcoco Km 36.5, 56230 Montecillo (Mexico)

Corresponding author

Miguel Ángel López López


Buendía Velázquez MV, López López MÁ, Cetina Alcalá VM, Diakite L (2016). Substrates and nutrient addition rates affect morphology and physiology of Pinus leiophylla seedlings in the nursery stage. iForest 10: 115-120. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1982-009

Academic Editor

Giustino Tonon

Paper history

Received: Jan 12, 2016
Accepted: Jun 12, 2016

First online: Oct 02, 2016
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 3.73 months

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