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Forests 2018, 9(8), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080483

Impacts of a High Nitrogen Load on Foliar Nutrient Status, N Metabolism, and Photosynthetic Capacity in a Cupressus lusitanica Mill. Plantation

Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, 159 Longpan Road, Nanjing 210037, China
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Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Abstract

At present, anthropogenic nitrogen deposition has dramatically increased worldwide and has shown negative impacts on temperate/boreal forest ecosystems. However, it remains unclear how an elevated N load affects plant growth in the relatively N-rich subtropical forests of Southern China. To address this question, a study was conducted in a six-year-old Cupressus lusitanica Mill. plantation at the Scientific Research and Teaching Base of Nanjing Forestry University, with N addition levels of N0 (0 kg ha−1 year−1), N1 (24 kg ha−1 year−1), N2 (48 kg ha−1 year−1), N3 (72 kg ha−1 year−1), N4 (96 kg ha−1 year−1), and N5 (120 kg ha−1 year−1). Leaf physiological traits associated with foliar nutrient status, photosynthetic capacity, pigment, and N metabolites were measured. The results showed that (1) N addition led to significant effects on foliar N, but had no marked effects on K concentration. Furthermore, remarkable increases of leaf physiological traits including foliar P, Ca, Mg, and Mn concentration; photosynthetic capacity; pigment; and N metabolites were always observed under low and middle-N supply. (2) High N supply notably decreased foliar P, Ca, and Mg concentration, but increased foliar Mn content. Regarding the chlorophyll, photosynthetic capacity, and N metabolites, marked declines were also observed under high N inputs. (3) Redundancy analysis showed that the net photosynthesis rate was positively correlated with foliar N, P, Ca, Mg, and Mn concentration; the Mn/Mg ratio; and concentrations of chlorophyll and N metabolites, while the net photosynthesis rate was negatively correlated with foliar K concentration and N/P ratios. These findings suggest that excess N inputs can promote nutrient imbalances and inhibit the photosynthetic capacity of Cupressus lusitanica Mill., indicating that high N deposition could threaten plant growth in tropical forests in the future. Meanwhile, further study is merited to track the effects of high N deposition on the relationship between foliar Mn accumulation and photosynthesis in Cupressus lusitanica Mill. View Full-Text
Keywords: N-rich subtropical forests; N deposition; foliar nutrient status; photosynthetic capacity; N metabolism N-rich subtropical forests; N deposition; foliar nutrient status; photosynthetic capacity; N metabolism
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, R.; Lu, Y.; Wan, F.; Wang, Y.; Pan, X. Impacts of a High Nitrogen Load on Foliar Nutrient Status, N Metabolism, and Photosynthetic Capacity in a Cupressus lusitanica Mill. Plantation. Forests 2018, 9, 483.

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