Nutrient Limitation of Seedling Growth on Contrasting Soils from Pasoh Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia

W. A. Wan Juliana, David Francis Robert Philip Burslem, Michael David Swaine

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15 Citations (Scopus)


WAN JULIANA WA, BURSLEM DFRP & SWAINS MD. 2009. Nutrient limitation of seedling growth on contrasting soils from Pasoh Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia. A pot bioassay experiment was established to test the hypotheses that different soil types represented on a 50 ha plot in Pasoh Forest Reserve supply different amounts of nutrients for plant growth, and that phosphorus (P) is the main limiting nutrient. Seedlings of the tree Lagerstroemia floribunda were grown for 54 days in pots of alluvial, shale or laterised-shale soil. The experiment comprised six nutrient addition treatments and an unmanipulated control, with five replicates for each treatment. The growth of seedlings of L. floribunda was limited by the availability of P but not by the other nutrients (N, K, Ca or Mg) added singly in the experiment. Relative growth rates were highest on alluvial and shale-derived soils, which had higher available P concentrations than the laterised shale-derived soils in the absence of nutrient addition. Shifts in biomass allocation and changes to specific leaf area were the mechanisms responsible for the increase in plant growth in response to nutrient addition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-327
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Tropical Forest Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Bioassay
  • pot experiment
  • nutrient addition
  • phosphorus
  • seedling growth rate
  • biomass allocation
  • specific leaf area
  • Tropical rain-forest
  • phosphorus limitation
  • dipterocarp forest
  • mineral-nutrition
  • responses
  • nitrogen
  • fertilization
  • Singapore
  • bioassays
  • Sarawak


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