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Open AccessArticle

Leaf Age Compared to Tree Age Plays a Dominant Role in Leaf δ13C and δ15N of Qinghai Spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.)

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,*, 1, 1,2, 1 and 1,2
1
State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(4), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040310
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 31 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationship between Forest Ecophysiology and Environment)
Leaf stable isotope compositions (δ13C and δ15N) are influenced by various abiotic and biotic factors. Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.) as one of the dominant tree species in Qilian Mountains plays a key role in the ecological stability of arid region in the northwest of China. However, our knowledge of the relative importance of multiple factors on leaf δ13C and δ15N remains incomplete. In this work, we investigated the relationships of δ13C and δ15N to leaf age, tree age and leaf nutrients to examine the patterns and controls of leaf δ13C and δ15N variation of Picea crassifolia. Results showed that 13C and 15N of current-year leaves were more enriched than older ones at each tree age level. There was no significant difference in leaf δ13C values among trees of different ages, while juvenile trees (<50 years old) were 15N depleted compared to middle-aged trees (50–100 years old) at each leaf age level except for 1-year-old leaves. Meanwhile, relative importance analysis has demonstrated that leaf age was one of the most important indicators for leaf δ13C and δ15N. Moreover, leaf N concentrations played a dominant role in the variations of δ13C and δ15N. Above all, these results provide valuable information on the eco-physiological responses of P. crassifolia in arid and semi-arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leaf δ13C; Leaf δ15N; Growth stage; Environmental factors; Relative importance Leaf δ13C; Leaf δ15N; Growth stage; Environmental factors; Relative importance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, C.; Wang, B.; Chen, T.; Xu, G.; Wu, M.; Wu, G.; Wang, J. Leaf Age Compared to Tree Age Plays a Dominant Role in Leaf δ13C and δ15N of Qinghai Spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.). Forests 2019, 10, 310. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040310

AMA Style

Li C, Wang B, Chen T, Xu G, Wu M, Wu G, Wang J. Leaf Age Compared to Tree Age Plays a Dominant Role in Leaf δ13C and δ15N of Qinghai Spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.). Forests. 2019; 10(4):310. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040310

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Caijuan; Wang, Bo; Chen, Tuo; Xu, Guobao; Wu, Minghui; Wu, Guoju; Wang, Jinxiu. 2019. "Leaf Age Compared to Tree Age Plays a Dominant Role in Leaf δ13C and δ15N of Qinghai Spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.)" Forests 10, no. 4: 310. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040310

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