Homeostatic levels of nonstructural carbohydrates after 13 yr of drought and irrigation in Pinus sylvestris

Schönbeck, Leonie and Gessler, Arthur and Hoch, Günter and McDowell, Nate G. and Rigling, Andreas and Schaub, Marcus and Li, Mai-He. (2018) Homeostatic levels of nonstructural carbohydrates after 13 yr of drought and irrigation in Pinus sylvestris. The New phytologist, 219 (4). pp. 1314-1324.

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Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) are important for the growth and survival of trees. Drought may lead to a decrease in tree growth and to NSC depletion, whereas increased soil moisture in otherwise dry ecosystems may increase growth and NSC concentrations. A long-term (13 yr) irrigation experiment was conducted in a Pinus sylvestris-dominated forest located at the dry margin of the species in southern Switzerland. We measured the relative leaf area, growth, NSCs, needle δ; 13; C, [N] and [P] in trees on control and irrigated plots. Irrigation resulted in higher growth rates and carbon isotope discrimination, but did not alter NSC levels. Growth and NSC decreased with decreasing leaf area in both treatments, but NSC did not correlate with leaf-level gas exchange indices, such as foliar δ; 13; C, [N] or [P]. A legacy effect was shown, as trees with initially low leaf area had limited ability to respond to prolonged irrigation. The NSC constancy across treatments provides evidence that carbohydrate storage may stay constant when climate changes are sufficiently slow to allow acclimation. Moreover, we speculate that total leaf area, rather than leaf gas exchange per unit leaf area, drives the variation in whole-tree carbohydrate dynamics in this system.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Physiological Plant Ecology (Kahmen)
UniBasel Contributors:Hoch, Günter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 Apr 2020 16:18
Deposited On:23 Apr 2020 16:18

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