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ŠUMARSKI LIST 11-12/2020 str. 33     <-- 33 -->        PDF

and root collar diameter, respectively. Increases in shoot and root density after the application of organic amendments have been demonstrated by several researchers (Fuentes et al. 2007; Tabari and Salehi 2009; Marron 2015).
One of the main factors that affect success in afforestation studies is the use of high-quality seedlings. As seen in Table 2, the highest quality seedlings were determined in substrates mixed with sewage sludge. These results indicated that the application of sewage sludge to the substrate sustains its effect on the land also. The substrate aims to maximize the quality of seedlings with minimum input. Results obtained in this study demonstrate that the application of sewage sludge, in a proper ratio, can be an alternative that can help to reduce the amount of high priced peat content in substrates.
This study was undertaken to evaluate (a) the feasibility of reducing the peat content in substrates by replacing it with different amounts of diatomite and sewage sludge for Scots pine seedling (Pinus sylvestris L.) growth and (b) evaluation of the land performance of Scots pine seedlings grown in different substrates. Results obtained from this study have clearly shown that the application of sewage sludge to the substrate is an effective way not only to reduce peat content in the substrate but also to improve seedling quality. As a result of the evaluations made in terms of both seedling morphological characteristics and land performance; the best performance was determined in the 9th (50%P+50%SS) and 3rd (75%SS+25%DE) mixtures. The rates of sewage sludge in these mixtures were 50% and 75%. The main problem in the usage of sewage sludge is heavy metals and soluble salts, which could accumulate in the soil. However, its usage in seedling stage can be an alternative to minimize potential hazards, because of its usage in relatively small amounts.
This study was supported by the Republic of Turkey, General Directorate of Forestry (01.1203.2013-2017).
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