Tolerance of Eucalyptus and Pinus seedlings to exchangeable Aluminium

ABSTRACT: Tolerance to acid soil is an important trait of Eucalyptus and Pinus species introduced into commercial forestry plantations in tropical ecosystems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the exchangeable Al on growth of the seedlings of two species and one hybrid of Eucalyptus and two species of Pinus. We also wanted to identify the role of the root cation exchangeable capacity (CEC) on Al tolerance. The experiment was conducted under controlled conditions in a greenhouse. The soil used was collected from the top layer of a red yellow Oxisol, from the Brazilian savanna region. The treatments consisted of different rates of P and the presence or absence of liming with CaCO3 and MgCO3. The species of Eucalyptus and Pinus showed no growth differences between the treatments. For all species, a higher density of fine roots was found in treatments with lower levels of bases and a higher Al exchangeable concentration. The Pinus species had a higher root CEC than the Eucalyptus species, which had a lower leaf Al concentration. Al concentration in the fine roots was 50 fold greater than in the leaves of all species. Similar to Al, concentrations of Fe, Cu and Zn in the roots were significantly higher than in the leaves in all species. In contrast, higher Mn concentration was found in the leaf tissue. This may lead species of Eucalyptus and Pinus to be more susceptible to Mn than to Al toxicity.