Effects of competition and phosphorus fertilization on leaf and root traits of late-successional conifers Abies fabri and Picea brachytyla

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Yu , L , Song , M , Lei , Y , Korpelainen , H , Niinemets , U & Li , C 2019 , ' Effects of competition and phosphorus fertilization on leaf and root traits of late-successional conifers Abies fabri and Picea brachytyla ' , Environmental and Experimental Botany , vol. 162 , pp. 14-24 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2019.02.004

Title: Effects of competition and phosphorus fertilization on leaf and root traits of late-successional conifers Abies fabri and Picea brachytyla
Author: Yu, Lei; Song, Mengya; Lei, Yanbao; Korpelainen, Helena; Niinemets, Ulo; Li, Chunyang
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Date: 2019-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Environmental and Experimental Botany
ISSN: 0098-8472
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307848
Abstract: Leaf and root systems are known to show a high degree of developmental plasticity in response to the local environment. However, few studies have investigated simultaneously the leaf and root traits as affected by competition and phosphorus (P) fertilization, especially in connection with the primary succession. We investigated morphological and physiological responses to different competition treatments (infra- vs. interspecific competition) and P regimes in seedlings of Abies fabri and Picea brachytyla, collected from the late succession stage Hailuogou glacier retreat area. A. fabri had a greater total chlorophyll content and specific leaf area (SLA), higher leaf nitrogen (N) and P concentrations, as well as a higher water use efficiency (assessed by the carbon isotope composition, delta C-13) and N absorption relative to P. brachytyla under P fertilization conditions, and its total biomass responded more strongly to P fertilization, especially under interspecific competition. P fertilization decreased the specific root length (SRL) and ectomycorrhizal infection in both species and specific root tip density in P. brachytyla but it had no effect on the average root diameter. We concluded that similar changes in root characteristics, but the superior performance of above-ground traits in A. fabri in response to P availability, especially under competition, explain the greater competitive capacity of A. fabri at final stages of succession. These findings highlight the influence of soil nutrition availability and competition on the functional traits of plants and contribute to the understanding of the role of relative modifications in leaf and root traits during succession.
Subject: Competition
Soil P availability
Plant functional traits
Trait correlations
Primary succession
INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITION
GONGGA MOUNTAIN
USE EFFICIENCY
ECOPHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES
NUTRIENT-AVAILABILITY
PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY
PHYSIOLOGICAL TRAITS
SOIL CHRONOSEQUENCE
BIOMASS ALLOCATION
SPECIES-DIVERSITY
1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
415 Other agricultural sciences
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
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