Research article

Impact of P fertilisation on the growth performance of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in a lignite post-mining area in Germany

Michael Kanzler , Christian Böhm, Dirk Freese

Michael Kanzler
Chair of Soil Protection and Recultivation, Brandenburg University of Technology, Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, D-03046 Cottbus, Germany. Email:
Christian Böhm
Chair of Soil Protection and Recultivation, Brandenburg University of Technology, Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, D-03046 Cottbus, Germany
Dirk Freese
Chair of Soil Protection and Recultivation, Brandenburg University of Technology, Konrad-Wachsmann-Allee 6, D-03046 Cottbus, Germany

Online First: January 30, 2015
Kanzler, M., Böhm, C., Freese, D. 2015. Impact of P fertilisation on the growth performance of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in a lignite post-mining area in Germany. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2015.303

Due to its ability to grow on marginal sites black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) has been widely planted as a short rotation coppice (SRC) system that produce a renewable biomass feedstock in several post-mining areas of East Germany. However, as most of these sites are still in an initial stage of reclamation with low humus and nutrient contents, phosphorous can play a significant role as a plant limiting factor, because legumes require more P than other plants for their development. In April 2011, two experiments were conducted to evaluate the influence of higher rates and different applications of phosphorus fertiliser on the nutrition, survival, and biomass production of two different-aged black locust SRC plantations on the post lignite-mining site “Welzow-Süd”, situated in NE Germany. Treatments were applied as triple superphosphate (30, 60 and 120 kg P ha-1) and PK fertiliser (60 kg P ha-1) through broadcasting or banding on recently harvested or planted trees, respectively. Soil, leaf and woody biomass data were analysed utilising the Mann-Whitney U test and the Spearman correlation coefficient (rS). Following two growing seasons, it was observed that the total dry weight yields of the black locust seedlings were increased strongly by up to 8 times when compared to the control group, particularly when TSP was applied through banding. P fertilisation, however, did not affect the biomass yield of six-year-old black locust trees, but P concentration in leaves among treatments of both sites was still significantly increased and sufficient from a quantity upwards of 60 kg P ha-1. Taken together, a comparably moderate amount of P fertiliser (60 kg ha-1) had a strong impact on P uptake and growth performance in the examined black locust seedlings, which reveals a high potential to improve the current fertilisation practices for SRC black locust plantations grown on our research site.

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