Talkner U, Meiwes K, Potocic N, Seletkovic I, Cools N, De Vos B, Rautio P (2015) Phosphorus nutrition of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) is decreasing in Europe. Annals of Forest Science, 72 (7): 919-928. [10.1007/s13595-015-0459-8]


Forest foliar nutrition;Temporal trend;Phosphorus deficiency;Forest monitoring;N/P ratio


Key message;Foliar phosphorus concentrations have decreased in Europe during the last 20 years. High atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change might be responsible for this trend. Continued decrease in foliar P concentrations might lead to reduced growth and vitality of beech forests in Europe.;Context;Increased forest soil acidification, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, and climate change have been shown to affect phosphorus nutrition of forest trees. Low foliar phosphorus levels and high nitrogen/phosphorus ratios have been observed in different European countries and have been related to reduced growth in forests.;Aims;We test the hypothesis that phosphorus concentrations of European beech (F. sylvatica L.) foliage are decreasing at the European scale.;Methods;Foliar phosphorus concentrations in beech were monitored on the basis of the “International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests.” Here, data from 12 European countries, comprising 79 plots and a 20-year sampling period (1991–2010), were evaluated.;Results;Foliar phosphorus concentrations ranged from 0.81 to 1.66 mg g-1 dw (plot median of the 20-year sampling period). On 22 % of the plots, phosphorus concentrations were in the deficiency range of beech (Mellert and Göttlein 2012). On 62 % of the plots, the nitrogen/phosphorus ratio was above 18.9, which is considered to be disharmonious for beech. In addition, foliar phosphorus concentrations were significantly decreasing by, on average, 13 % from 1.31 to 1.14 mg g-1 in Europe (p?

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Category: ISI,