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Growth of tropical rain forest trees as dependent on phosphorus supply. Tree seedlings differing in regeneration strategy and their adaptations to a low phosphorus environment in Guyana.

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Authors: Raaimakers, D.

Guyana - 1994

ISBN: 90-5113-023-6

ISSN: 1383-6811

Language: English

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A study on plant nutrition in tropical rain forest was conducted at the Tropenbos-Guyana site. The study PhD revealed that nitrogen does not limit plant growth. Phosphorus is in short supply and is found in very low concentrations in plant tissue. Still, fertilisation with phosphorus did not improve plant growth, except in Cecropia. It is indicated that the low pH (high acidity) of the soil causes problems for plant growth. As acidity increases in large gaps, this may have consequences for plant growth after logging. Litter proved beneficial for plant growth and litter losses during logging should therefore be minimised. While climax species are very efficient in the use and relocation of phosphorus, pioneers have better acquisition capabilities. Thus, secondary vegetation may act as 'wound tissue' and the combination of fast growth and uptake of nutrients may decrease leaching.

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