Concentrations of nutritional and trace elements in needles of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) as functions of the needle age class

Wyttenbach A. 1, Schleppi P. 2, Tobler L. 1, Bajo S. 1, Bucher J. 2

1 Paul Scherrer Institut, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
2 Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Plant Soil 168-169 (1995): 305-312

DOI: 10.1007/BF00029342


The endogenous concentrations of the essential elements Ca, Cl, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, N, P and Zn, and of the nonessential elements Al, As, Ba, Br, Co, Cr, Cs, Hg, I, La, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Si and Sr were determined in 5 successive needle age classes. 40 mature spruce trees from 6 different sites were investigated individually. A given element usually shows smooth changes with the needle age class t. Trees on a given site usually have a similar dynamic behaviour. The same holds for the different site means. The concentrations can be approximated by functions c=f(t). Three different types of functions are required to describe the dynamic behaviour of 3 groups of elements that increase with t, and one for the elements that decrease with t. A given element usually can be described by the same type of function at all sites, even if its concentration differs widely. Exceptions are Mn, Co and Zn, which change from a decreasing function at low concentrations to an increasing function at high concentrations. Further irregularities are found at some sites with Ca, Sr and Ba. These findings are corroborated by a multivariate statistical analysis.

Keywords: needle age class, Norway spruce, nutrients, Picea abies, trace elements