SOIL AND FOLIAR NUTRIENTS CONCENTRATION OF CONIFER SPECIES IN THE COMMUNITIES OF MOIST TEMPERATE AREAS OF SOUTHERN HIMALAYAN AND HINDUKUSH REGION OF PAKISTAN
This study provides foliar nutrient concentration distribution of thirteen conifer communities, recorded from moist temperate area of Pakistan. The influence of soil nutrients that may affect the vegetation distribution and composition are also considered here. Foresters can obtain foliar nutrient values from the forests in focus and use this information to make judgments on the relative nutrient status of forest stands. Soil and foliage samples were collected from 41 different research sites (stands), for the purpose of nutrient evaluation during a period of 3 years from 2005 to 2008. Six nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium) of soil and tissue were assessed. Potassium and sodium (1.58 and 0.7 %) had by far the highest tissue concentrations followed by Ca > Mg > N > P. Four conifer species had higher concentration of nitrogen (1.66- 1.97 %) followed by Ca, K, P, Mg and Na while the concentration of these nutrients in soils of moist temperate area differed considerably from that in tissues, i.e. potassium had the higher concentration (1.65-1.79 %) followed by Na, Mg, Ca, N and P.