Pot experiments with woody species – a review
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Pot experiments, as a complement to field measurements, allow the investigation of plants under controlled conditions without distracting effects of heterogeneous environmental factors. Due to the longevity and larger dimensions of tree species, pot experiments with trees raise more problems than studies with herbaceous plants.Weanalysed 93studiesonpot experiments withwoodyforest speciesandprovideanoverviewof their practical implementation. The literature reviewrevealed that various factors should be taken into account in providing good growing conditions for pot experiments, including pot size, substrate, plant age and origin, and transplanting effects. Many studies did not follow existing recommendations, e.g. an appropriate pot size. Therefore, the transferability of the experimental results to natural conditions is limited and could be improved. We propose that investigation of tree response in pot experiments should be combined with additional measurements undernatural conditions. Unfortunately,manypapers using pot experiments did not provide completeinformation on the experimental set-up, making an evaluation on the quality of pot experiments difficult. We conclude that authors should provide more detailed information on the methodology that can be used to repeat or design future pot experiments.