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Open AccessArticle

Soil Silicon Amendment Increases Phyllostachys praecox Cold Tolerance in a Pot Experiment

1
State Key Lab of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
2
College of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
3
State Key Lab of Sub-Tropical Sivlculture, Zhejiang A & F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(5), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10050405
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses to Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Forest Trees)
Cultivated bamboos are occasionally subjected to cold stress in winter, and silicon could improve their cold tolerance. However, evidence of the effect of Si on bamboos is still limited. Therefore, a batch and pot experiment was conducted for six months to investigate the effects of different Si fertilizer application rates (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, and 8.0 g kg−1 of soil weight) on the physiological responses and photosynthesis parameters of Phyllostachys praecox under a simulated cold stress condition. The cold temperature was set to 5 °C, 0 °C, and −5 °C, successively. The bamboo biomass increased significantly when the Si amendment rate was at least 2.0 g kg−1 (P = 0.002), and the highest biomass increase and root-to-canopy ratio were obtained with the 4.0 g kg−1 Si amendment. Furthermore, the Si contents in all organs of the bamboos increased with the increase of the Si amendment rate. The highest content of Si among the other organs was observed in the leaf, and the content was 68.95 mg kg−1 with the treatment of 4.0 g kg−1. With the application of Si, the photosynthesis rate of bamboo leaves was significantly increased (P = 0.008). The Si-amended bamboo exhibited a cold tolerance that was associated with stimulating antioxidant systems, and the enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and catalase increased with the increase of the Si amendment rate, whereas the malondialdehyde content and cell membrane permeability decreased with all Si treatments. A low temperature of −5 °C exerted effects on the bamboo leaf chloroplasts, but the ultrastructures of the chloroplasts remained intact after Si treatment. These findings suggest that Si fertilizer enhances bamboo growth and the tolerance of bamboo plants to cold stress. However, a high application rate (8.0 g kg−1) caused a decline in the bamboo biomass, compared to T4. Thus, a Si fertilization rate of 2.0~8.0 g kg−1 is recommended for bamboos under cold conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: bamboo forest; cold stress; physiological response; silicon fertilization bamboo forest; cold stress; physiological response; silicon fertilization
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Qian, Z.Z.; Zhuang, S.Y.; Li, Q.; Gui, R.Y. Soil Silicon Amendment Increases Phyllostachys praecox Cold Tolerance in a Pot Experiment. Forests 2019, 10, 405.

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