Effects of Hydrogels on Tree Seedling Performance in Temperate Soils before and after Water StressReport as inadecuate




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SuperAbsorbent Polyacrylate SAP hydrogels absorb and store water thereby aidingplant establishment when incurporated in the soil. The effect of cross-linkedSAP hydrogel amendment on the performance of tree seedlings of Picea abies, Pinus sylivestris and Fagussylvatica grown in temperate soils under water stress and non-water stressperiods was investigated in a green house. The objective was to compare theroot and shoot biomass of seedlings of the three species grown in sand, loamand clay soils amended with 0.4% w-w hydrogel in non water stress conditions aswell as survival, root and shoot biomass after subjection to water stress. Theseedlings were grown for 16 weeks, harvested and shoot as well as root biomassdetermined before water stress. The seedlings were also subjected to waterstress and their biomass assessed atdeath following the water stress. The results showed that root and shoot biomass were generally higher in hydrogel amendedsoils compared to the controls. Root and shoot biomass of Fagus sylvatica was lower compared to Picea abies and Pinussylivestris before water stress. The 0.4% hydrogel amendment significantlyincreased species’ survival in the different soils studied. Although rootbiomass was higher in hydrogel amended sandy soil compared to other soils, P. sylivestris and F. sylvatica shoot biomass were higher in hydrogel amended clay and loam soils compared to the sandysoil after water stress. Biomass was higher in sand compared to loam and claysoils under non-water and water stressed conditions. Since SAP hydrogelamendment improved the survival and biomass production of tree seedlings beforeand after water stress, use of SAPs could be promoted to enhance seedling productionin water stress and non-water stress environments.

KEYWORDS

Desiccation; Non-Water Stress; SAPs; Soil Amendment; Tree Species

Cite this paper

L. Orikiriza, H. Agaba, G. Eilu, J. Kabasa, M. Worbes and A. Hüttermann -Effects of Hydrogels on Tree Seedling Performance in Temperate Soils before and after Water Stress,- Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 7, 2013, pp. 713-721. doi: 10.4236-jep.2013.47082.





Author: Lawrence J. B. Orikiriza, Hillary Agaba, Gerald Eilu, John D. Kabasa, Martin Worbes, Aloys Hüttermann

Source: http://www.scirp.org/



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