Aboveground nitrogen and phosphorus use by five plantation-grown trees with different leaf longevities

Yowhan Son, Stith T. Gower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Aboveground nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) requirement, retranslocation and use efficiency were determined for 28-year-old red oak (Quercus rubra L.), European larch (Larix decidua Miller), white pine (Pinus strobes L.), red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L) Karst.) plantations on a similar soil in southwestern Wisconsin. Annual aboveground N and P requirements (kg/ha/yr) totaled 126 and 13 for red oak, 86 and 9 for European larch, 80 and 9 for white pine, 38 and 6 for red pine, and 81 and 13 for Norway spruce, respectively. Nitrogen and P retranslocation from current foliage ranged from 81 and 72%, respectively, for European larch, whereas red pine retranslocated the smallest amount of N (13%) and Norway spruce retranslocated the smallest amount of P (18%). In three evergreen species, uptake accounted for 72 to 74% of annual N requirement whereas for two deciduous species retranslocation accounted for 76 to 77% of the annual N requirement. Nitrogen and P use (ANPP/uptake) was more efficient in deciduous species than evergreen species. The results from this common garden experiment demonstrate that differences in N and P cycling among species may result from intrinsic characteristics (e.g. leaf longevity) rather than environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-191
Number of pages25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • leaf longevity
  • nitrogen
  • nutrient use efficiency
  • phosphorus
  • requirement
  • retranslocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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