Limited effects of biochar application and periodic irrigation on jack pine (Pinus banksiana) seedling growth in northern Minnesota, USA

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Abstract

We tested the effect of biochar application on growth of planted jack pine on a sandy soil in northern Minnesota. Biochar was applied in combination with compost and with or without manual irrigation in a factorial design to isolate possible effects associated with nutrient or water availability. There were no differences among treatments in seedling annual diameter or height growth after 4 years. Watering increased mean needle mass, indicating the treatment was somewhat effective at increasing water availability and seedling performance. Watering increased foliage Mg and K concentrations and content, possibly indicating that these elements are limiting to jack pine growth on sandy soils. Biochar-only application decreased foliage Ca concentration relative to controls, likely due to increased nutrient immobilization when biochar is applied without a nutrient source. These findings and others from the region highlight that biochar does not increase planted jack pine seedling survival or growth on sandy soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Great Lakes region
  • artificial regeneration
  • foliar analysis
  • nutrient immobilization
  • potassium limitation

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