Genotypic effects of fertilization on seedling sweetgum biomass allocation, N uptake, and N use efficiency.
Screening and selecting tree genotypes that are responsive to N additions and that have high nutrient use efficiencies can provide better genetic material for short-rotation plantation establishment. A pot experiment was conducted to test the hypotheses that (1) sweetgum ( Liquidambar styraciflua L.) families have different patterns in biomass production and allocation, N uptake, and N use efficiency (NUE), because of their differences in growth strategies, and (2) sweetgum families that are more responsive to N additions will also have greater nutrient use efficiencies. Seedlings from two half-sib families (F10022 and F10023) that were known to have contrasting responses to fertility and other stress treatments were used for an experiment with two levels of N (0 vs. 100 kg N/ha equivalent) and two levels of P (0 vs. 50 kg P/ha equivalent) in a split-plot design. Sweetgum seedlings responded to N and P treatments rapidly, with increases in both size and biomass production, and those responses were greater with F10023 than with F10022. Growth response to N application was particularly strong. N and P application increased the proportional allocation of biomass to leaves. Under increased N supply, P application increased foliar N concentration and content, as well as total N uptake by the seedlings. However, NUE was decreased by N addition and was higher in F10023 than in F10022 when P was not limiting. A better understanding of genotype by fertility interactions is important in selecting genotypes for specific site conditions and for optimizing nutrient use in forestry production. (+info)
Impacts of fine root turnover on forest NPP and soil C sequestration potential.
Estimates of forest net primary production (NPP) demand accurate estimates of root production and turnover. We assessed root turnover with the use of an isotope tracer in two forest free-air carbon dioxide enrichment experiments. Growth at elevated carbon dioxide did not accelerate root turnover in either the pine or the hardwood forest. Turnover of fine root carbon varied from 1.2 to 9 years, depending on root diameter and dominant tree species. These long turnover times suggest that root production and turnover in forests have been overestimated and that sequestration of anthropogenic atmospheric carbon in forest soils may be lower than currently estimated. (+info)
Oleanane triterpenoids with inhibitory activity against NFAT transcription factor from Liquidambar formosana.
In a search for inhibitory components from natural products against NFAT transcription factor, this study investigated the ethyl acetate extract of the fruits of Liquidambar formosana. Four oleanane triterpenoids were isolated and identified to be liquidambaric acid, oleanolic acid, 3alpha-acetoxy-25-hydroxy-olean-12-en-28-oic acid and lantanolic acid. Of these compounds, 3alpha-acetoxy-25-hydroxy-olean-12-en-28-oic acid (IC50: 4.63 microM) and lantanolic acid (IC50: 12.62 microM) exhibited strong inhibitory activity against the NFAT transcription factor. (+info)
Fine-root production dominates response of a deciduous forest to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.
Fine-root production and turnover are important regulators of the biogeochemical cycles of ecosystems and key components of their response to global change. We present a nearly continuous 6-year record of fine-root production and mortality from minirhizotron analysis of a closed-canopy, deciduous sweetgum forest in a free-air CO(2) enrichment experiment. Annual production of fine roots was more than doubled in plots with 550 ppm CO(2) compared with plots in ambient air. This response was the primary component of the sustained 22% increase in net primary productivity. Annual fine-root mortality matched annual production, and the mean residence time of roots was not altered by elevated CO(2), but peak fine-root standing crop in midsummer was significantly higher in CO(2)-enriched plots, especially deeper in the soil profile. The preferential allocation of additional carbon to fine roots, which have a fast turnover rate in this species, rather than to stemwood reduces the possibility of long-term enhancement by elevated CO(2) of carbon sequestration in biomass. However, sequestration of some of the fine-root carbon in soil pools is not precluded, and there may be other benefits to the tree from a seasonally larger and deeper fine-root system. Root-system dynamics can explain differences among ecosystems in their response to elevated atmospheric CO(2); hence, accurate assessments of carbon flux and storage in forests in a globally changing atmosphere must account for this unseen and difficult-to-measure component. (+info)
Phloem loading. A reevaluation of the relationship between plasmodesmatal frequencies and loading strategies.
The incidence of plasmodesmata in the minor vein phloem of leaves varies widely between species. On this basis, two pathways of phloem loading have been proposed: symplastic where frequencies are high, and apoplastic where they are low. However, putative symplastic-loading species fall into at least two categories. In one, the plants translocate raffinose-family oligosaccharides (RFOs). In the other, the primary sugar in the phloem sap is sucrose (Suc). While a thermodynamically feasible mechanism of symplastic loading has been postulated for species that transport RFOs, no such mechanism is known for Suc transporters. We used p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid inhibition of apoplastic loading to distinguish between the two pathways in three species that have abundant minor vein plasmodesmata and are therefore putative symplastic loaders. Clethra barbinervis and Liquidambar styraciflua transport Suc, while Catalpa speciosa transports RFOs. The results indicate that, contrary to the hypothesis that all species with abundant minor vein plasmodesmata load symplastically, C. barbinervis and L. styraciflua load from the apoplast. C. speciosa, being an RFO transporter, loads from the symplast, as expected. Data from these three species, and from the literature, also indicate that plants with abundant plasmodesmata in the minor vein phloem have abundant plasmodesmata between mesophyll cells. Thus, plasmodesmatal frequencies in the minor veins may be a reflection of overall frequencies in the lamina and may have limited relevance to phloem loading. We suggest that symplastic loading is restricted to plants that translocate oligosaccharides larger than Suc, such as RFOs, and that other plants, no matter how many plasmodesmata they have in the minor vein phloem, load via the apoplast. (+info)
Rediscovery of an unusual chytridiaceous fungus new to the order Rhizophydiales.
The newest order in Chytridiomycota, Rhizophydiales, shows remarkable genetic divergence and zoospore ultrastructural diversity. From submersed mud from a marsh near an oligotrophic lake in the Patagonia region of Argentina, we isolated a previously undescribed chytrid in Rhizophydiales with unique 28S rRNA and ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 sequences and a distinctive zoospore and thallus. In a combined LSU + 5.8S phylogeny of representative taxa in the order, the nearest relative to this new species is Rhizophlyctis harderi, and their zoospores share several similar character states. A new genus is erected for this chytrid, the first to be brought into pure culture from this region. (+info)
Decomposing ability of filamentous fungi on litter is involved in a subtropical mixed forest.
The abilities of 10 filamentous fungi, isolated from Pinus massoniana-Liquidambar formasana mixed forest (PLF), to decompose fresh, fallen needle and leaf litter were studied with pure-culture tests. The results showed that all fungi except Mucor sp. and Chaetomium bostrychodes could drive mass loss of L. formasana leaf litter significantly more than that of P. massoniasa. Mass loss of litter in the first 5 wk of the study was higher than that in the last 5 wk. The decomposition rate was negatively correlated to the original lignin/nitrogen (L/N) and carbohydrate/nitrogen (C/N) ratios. Based on the mass loss of litter (W), carbohydrate (C) and lignin (L), and the mutual relationship between L/W and L/C ratio, we concluded that Mucor sp. had the lowest decomposing ability on P. Massoniana and L. formasana litter and that it could not use lignin. The Chaetomium bostrychodes were lignin and carbohydrate decomposers but preferred lignin. Trichoderma sp. 1 and Cladosporium herbarum were carbohydrate-decomposing fungi. Trichoderma sp. 2, Aspergillus fumigatus, Alternaria sp. and Penicillium sp. 2 were able to decompose lignin and carbohydrate but preferred carbohydrate and had high ability to decompose litter. Aspergillus niger and Penicillium sp. 1 were able to decompose lignin and carbohydrate only in the early phase of the study. The decomposing ability of fungi varied even within genus. No direct relationship was found between the frequency of isolation and the decomposing ability of fungi. (+info)
Plasticity in bundle sheath extensions of heterobaric leaves.