Navigation Links
Fertilizer use not always helpful in revegetation efforts
Date:12/17/2009

QUEBEC, DECEMBER 2009 -- Companies and communities trying to restore vegetation on damaged northern landscapes should think twice about using fertilizer to stimulate growth according to new research published in the November issue of Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research.

Not all plants benefit from the use of fertilizers. In fact, some do worse.

Stphane Boudreau, a Professor of Ecology at Universit Laval, and two colleagues spent a summer growing three types of native plants in the northern village of Whapmagoostui in subarctic Quebec. They found that a top dressing of organic fertilizer had virtually no impact on the plants while mineral fertilizer, the kind sold by gardening stores, showed mixed results.

Over the last 60 years Whapmagoostui, a village of 750 mostly Cree residents, has witnessed the loss of close to 50% of vegetation in the village and surrounding area because of land development and ATV use. The result is a community covered with bare sand but no vegetation.

"The vegetation cover in the village is all degraded. People want to live in a place that's nice," said Boudreau. In addition, the region is subject to strong winds that create sandstorms that cause some respiratory problems for the residents.

The village came to Boudreau and his colleagues for assistance with revegetation plans. Villagers selected three plant species to use in the experiment American dune grass, beach pea and spike trisetum.

The plants were grown outdoors and inside a greenhouse and were fed mineral fertilizer (slow release pellets or water soluble 20-20-20) or top-dressed with organic fertilizer collected from a nearby marsh. Each of the species responded differently to the fertilizers.

The organic material had a neutral or a negative effect. "Some studies show that organic fertilizer can be quite important. It can increase water retention of the soil and increase nutrient levels. But this didn't work at all. It is still a bit puzzling," said Boudreau.

Results for the mineral fertilizer were mixed. Dune grass performed well to the addition of fertilizer, the reaction of spike trisetum was mixed, while the beach pea was impacted negatively.

This was no surprise to Boudreau. "The beach pea is a legume and they tend to grow better if the substrate is poor. So if you add nutrients they don't like it too much."

Based on the results, Boudreau and his colleagues would not recommend beach pea be used in revegetation efforts in areas with similar soil. Dune grass is a much better choice. Not only does it respond well to regrowth efforts, its roots can extent to a few meters, which helps to keep sandy substrate in place.

However, no vegetation will take at Whapmagoostui until ATV traffic is contained to road areas. Although they are smaller than trucks and cars, ATVs uproot and damage new and old plants. "Up to now, they were used everywhere," says Boudreau


'/>"/>

Contact: Prof. Stphane Boudreau
stephane.boudreau@bio.laval.ca
418-656-2131
Arctic Institute of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sustainable fertilizer: Urine and wood ash produce large harvest
2. Water quality improves after lawn fertilizer ban, study shows
3. Study highlights massive imbalances in global fertilizer use
4. World fertilizer prices drop dramatically after soaring to all-time highs
5. Fertilizers -- a growing threat to sea life
6. TVA fertilizer technology used worldwide -- but few new products since 1970s
7. Improving swine waste fertilizer
8. Dosage of fertilizer helps to enhance quality of wheat
9. Fertilizer research center an Australian first
10. Bangladesh to dramatically expand technology that doubles efficiency of urea fertilizer use
11. Researchers combat slowing yields with targeted fertilizer applications
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... compared with the first quarter of 2015 The gross ... M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today ... Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am ... and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: