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Plants 2016, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/plants5020019

Short-Term Response of Sasa Dwarf Bamboo to a Change of Soil Nitrogen Fertility in a Forest Ecosystem in Northern Hokkaido, Japan

1
Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Kita 9 Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0809, Japan
2
Graduate School for Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Kita10, Nishi 5, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan
3
Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, 483 Otoineppu, Otoineppu, Hokkaido 098-2501, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maurizio Chiurazzi
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nitrogen Metabolism)
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Abstract

In forest ecosystems, a change of soil nitrogen (N) cycling after disturbance is regulated by various factors. Sasa dwarf bamboo (hereafter referred to as Sasa) is an understory plant that grows thickly on the forest floor in northern Hokkaido, Japan. However, the ecosystem function of Sasa after disturbances in the soil N cycling is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to determine the short-term response of Sasa to a change of soil N fertility. Biomass, litterfall, litter decomposition, soil N pool, and N leaching from soil were measured in control, and low- (5 g N m−2 year−1) and high-N (15 g N m−2 year−1) addition plots. Sasa immobilized much N as the soil N fertility increased. However, the leaf N concentration in aboveground biomass did not increase, suggesting that the N in leaves was maintained because of the increase of leaf biomass. As a result, the decomposition and mineralization rates of the produced litter before and after N addition were comparable among plots, even though the soil inorganic N fertility increased greatly. These results suggest that immediate response of Sasa to an increase of soil inorganic N mitigates the excess N leaching from soil. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; litter decomposition; nitrogen addition experiment; nitrogen cycling; understory plant biomass; litter decomposition; nitrogen addition experiment; nitrogen cycling; understory plant
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Watanabe, T.; Fukuzawa, K.; Shibata, H. Short-Term Response of Sasa Dwarf Bamboo to a Change of Soil Nitrogen Fertility in a Forest Ecosystem in Northern Hokkaido, Japan. Plants 2016, 5, 19.

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