Effects of fertilization on the production of an edible forest fruit: stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) nuts in south-west Andalusia
AbstractThe pine nut from the stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) is the most important edible fruit in mediterranean forests. Despite this fact, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the application of agronomy techniques in stands of this species to increase pine nut production. Our study focuses on the effect of mineral fertilization on cone production and size, which in turn, are closely related to nut yield and quality. Cone production and quality was analysed in a randomized experiment installed in south west Spain, comparing the effect of different doses of lime superphosphate, dolomite and potassium. A significant short term increase in cone production and quality exists as a consequence of fertilization, especially in those treatments involving the addition of larger quantity of dolomite. Nevertheless, effect of mineral fertilization on cone yield and quality was lower than expected, so further increments might be achieved through nitrogenous and organic fertilizations to improve soil structure in these sandy soils.
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