Effects of irrigation and fertilization on the growth of juniper seedlings

Gurlevik N., Deligoz A., Yildiz D.

AUSTRIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST SCIENCE, vol.131, no.3, pp.171-190, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 131 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-190
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Juniper has recently become one of the most common species in forest nurseries throughout Turkey; however, issues related to cultural treatments have not been fully resolved yet. This project was implemented to determine the growth and nutritional responses of containerized Crimean juniper (Juniperus excelsa Bieb.) seedlings to irrigation (full vs. limited irrigation) and fertilization (unfertilized vs. fertilized) treatments. Results showed that the fertilization treatment significantly increased above-ground development in terms of height, root collar diameter, shoot and total dry weight but didn't affect root dry weight. Consequently, shoot/root and height/diameter ratios also increased. Moreover, both shoot and root N and shoot chlorophyll concentrations were also increased by fertilization. The effects of fertilization were either absent or very limited on other nutrients. Irrigation, on the other hand, had no effect on most seedling attributes. However, the amount of leachate increased significantly as a result of full irrigation. Similarly, EC and nitrate concentration increased in leachate in the fertilized treatments. Therefore, loss of nitrate in leachate was greatly elevated when full irrigation is combined with fertilization. These findings indicated that over-irrigation might lead to loss of nutrients and didn't necessarily produce larger or healthier seedling; therefore, limited irrigation with fertilization may be more beneficial for juniper production.