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Response of foliar physiological characteristic within two understory plant species to chronic nitrogen and phosphorus addition in a secondary tropical forest(PDF)

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

2019 03
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Response of foliar physiological characteristic within two understory plant species to chronic nitrogen and phosphorus addition in a secondary tropical forest
CHEN Yiqun1 WANG Wenjuan2 HUANG Rongyin1 LUO Huiying1 LI Yingwen2 3 LI Yongxing2 3 ZHAO Qian1 & MO Qifeng1 2 3*
1 College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China 2 Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China 3 Xiaoliang Research Station for Tropical Coastal Ecosystems, Chinese Academy of Science, Maoming 525029, China
South China tropical forest N&P concentration functional trait P limitation

The goal of this study was to investigate the response and adaptation of plant leaves to long-term N and P addition, clarifying the physiological and ecological mechanisms of tropical forest plants to lower soil P availability in southern China. Based on an N and P addition experiment in the secondary tropical forest of southern China, the foliar traits, photosynthetic pigment, and N and P concentrations of two widely distributed tree species, Clerodendrum cyrtophyllum and Uvaria microcarpa were measured. The results obtained were as follows: 1) Inter-species differences were noted in foliar trait, photosynthetic pigment, and N and P concentrations (P < 0.05)—N and P addition increased the specific leaf area (SLA) of C. cyrtophyllum (35%–38%), whereas there was no significant effect on leaf length, width, or area for the two species; 2) N addition significantly influenced the chl a and chl (a + b) concentrations (P = 0.036 and P = 0.043, respectively), whereas P addition had no significant effects on photosynthetic pigment levels; 3) In the CK treatment, the N:P ratios of C. cyrtophyllum and U. microcarpa were 28.71 and 21.75, respectively, and both were higher than 16, indicating that the two tree species were strongly limited by P availability—P addition significantly increased foliar P concentrations and decreased N:P ratios of the two species; 4) Relatively weaker correlations were noted among foliar traits, photosynthetic pigment, and N and P concentrations. Thus, the foliar N and P concentrations were sensitive to N and P addition, and chl a and chl (a + b) were also sensitive to N addition, whereas other foliar traits were slowly responsive to N and P addition in this tropical forest. With the long-term lower soil availability, tropical forest plant leaves are well adaptive to environmental change, although the underlying biological mechanism is yet to be elucidated.


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Last Update: 2019-06-25