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Open AccessArticle

Shifts in Leaf and Branch Elemental Compositions of Pinus massoniana (Lamb.) Following Three-Year Rainfall Exclusion

1
Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Ecophysiology, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
2
College of Ecological Environment and Urban Construction, Fujian University of Technology, Fuzhou 350118, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010113
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Responses to Drought)
We investigated changes in leaf and branch stoichiometry of Pinus massoniana caused by seasonal variation and experimental drought in response to a three-year manipulation of the rainfall exclusion. The results showed that (1) in response to rainfall exclusion manipulation, plant capacity to regulate leaf potassium (K) concentrations were notably lower than for leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations. Thus, the plants modulated leaf N and P concentrations to improve water use efficiency, which take part in drought resistance mechanisms. Leaf K concentrations decreased continuously, having additional indirect negative effects on plant fitness. (2) The effects of seasonal variation on both the leaf K and P concentrations were significantly stronger than on leaf N concentrations. High leaf N and P concentrations and a low N:P ratio in the growing season improved the growth rate. (3) Principal component analyses (PCA) revealed that to adapt to drought, the plants regulated nutrient elements and then maintained certain stoichiometries as a capital to resist stress. Our results suggest that, on nutrient-poor soils, a lack of N or P (or both) would probably impede P. massoniana’s response to drought. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; rainfall exclusion; nitrogen; phosphorus; potassium; N:P ratio drought; rainfall exclusion; nitrogen; phosphorus; potassium; N:P ratio
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, T.; Fang, X.; Lai, Y.; Zheng, H.; Zhu, J. Shifts in Leaf and Branch Elemental Compositions of Pinus massoniana (Lamb.) Following Three-Year Rainfall Exclusion. Forests 2020, 11, 113.

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