UBC Undergraduate Research

The effect of artificial drainage in waterlogged sites on the foliar nutrient status of planted interior spruce seedlings in the Central Interior BC Saraiva, Maria Fernanda


Drainage of waterlogged sites following harvest is a silvicultural treatment to reduce water table levels; therefore, potentially improving seedling growth. The goal of this study was to assess foliar nutrient status changes of planted hybrid interior spruce (Picea glauca x Picea englemannii [Moench] Voss) seedlings as a result of artificial drainage of waterlogged sites located in the central interior of British Columbia. Ditches were constructed near the end of the 2007 growing season, and foliar samples were collected and analysed for foliar unit mass and macronutrient concentrations and contents in the fall of 2007 (pre-ditching conditions) and in the fall of 2008 (post ditching conditions). Two way ANOVA and correlation analyses were used to determine and interpret significant responses. Concentration and content of foliar B and Al decreased and foliar K increased near and away from the ditch. These trends can be used as immediate indicators of ditch effects. The effect of distance from the ditchline on changes of foliar nutrient status was not conclusive. Overall, ditching appeared to be detrimental to health of seedlings in the short term. Longer term trends need to be examined for an understanding of any improvement in plant productivity and establishment of a new steady state.

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