Leaf nitrogen assimilation and partitioning differ among subtropical forest plants in response to canopy addition of nitrogen treatments

  • Authors: Liu, Nan; Wu, Shuhua; Guo, Qinfeng; Wang, Jiaxin; Cao, Ce; Wang, Jun
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Science of The Total Environment
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.060

Abstract

Global increases in nitrogen deposition may alter forest structure and function by interferingwith plant nitrogen metabolism (e.g., assimilation and partitioning) and subsequent carbon assimilation, but it is unclear how these responses to nitrogen deposition differ among species. In this study, we conducted a 2-year experiment to investigate the effects of canopy addition of nitrogen (CAN) on leaf nitrogen assimilation and partitioning in three subtropical forest plants (Castanea henryi, Ardisia quinquegona, and Blastus cochinchinensis). We hypothesized that responses of leaf nitrogen assimilation and partitioning to CAN differ among subtropical forest plants. CAN increased leaf nitrate reductase (NR) activity, and leaf nitrogen and chlorophyll contents but reduced leaf maximum photosynthetic rate (Amax), photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE), ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco) activity, and metabolic protein content of an overstory tree species C. henryi. In an understory tree A. quinquegona, CAN increased NR activity and glutamine synthetase activity and therefore increased metabolic protein synthesis (e.g., Rubisco) in leaves. In the shrub B. cochinchinensis, CAN increased Amax, PNUE, Rubisco content, metabolic protein content, and Rubisco activity in leaves. Leaf nitrogen assimilation and partitioning results indicated that A. quinquegona and B. cochinchinensis may better acclimate to CAN than C. henryi and that the acclimation mechanism differs among the species. Results from this study suggest that long-term elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition has contributed to the ongoing transformation of subtropical forests into communities dominated by small trees and shrubs. ©

  • Citation: Liu, Nan; Wu, Shuhua; Guo, Qinfeng; Wang, Jiaxin; Cao, Ce; Wang, Jun 2018. Leaf nitrogen assimilation and partitioning differ among subtropical forest plants in response to canopy addition of nitrogen treatments. Science of The Total Environment. 637-638: 1026-1034. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.060.
  • Keywords: Global change, Metabolic protein, Nitrate reductase, Nitrite reductase, Nitrogen deposition Nitrogen metabolism
  • Posted Date: May 15, 2018
  • Modified Date: May 16, 2018
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