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Combined Effects of Drought and Shading on Growth and Non-Structural Carbohydrates in Pinus massoniana Lamb. Seedlings

Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
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Forests 2020, 11(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010018
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 19 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Carbon assimilation is reduced by stress. Under such conditions, the trade-off between growth and non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) storage becomes crucial for plant survival and continued growth. However, growth and NSC responses to drought and shading in Pinus massoniana Lamb. remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of drought, shading, and combined drought and shading on leaf gas exchange parameters, stem basal diameter, plant height, biomass accumulation, and NSC concentration in 2-year old seedlings after a 2 month treatment. The results showed that (1) both drought and shading significantly reduced photosynthetic rate, increment of stem basal diameter and plant height, and biomass accumulation, while NSC concentration increased under drought but decreased under shading; (2) the combined drought-shading treatment had a stronger effect on photosynthetic rate and growth than either stress factor individually, whereas the concentration of NSC did not change significantly; and (3) drought, shading, and their combination had a lower effect on biomass than on NSC partitioning, in which case clear effects were observed. Drought increased NSC proportion in roots by 5.4%; conversely, shading increased NSC proportion in leaves by 3.7%, while the combined treatment increased NSC proportion in roots by 5.1% but decreased it in the leaves by 5.4%. These results suggest that the mechanism inhibiting P. massoniana growth is different under drought and shading conditions according to carbon partitioning. Furthermore, complex environmental stress may lead to different mechanisms of carbon partitioning compared with either dry or shaded environments. Our findings will be helpful in predicting the impact of climate change on P. massoniana growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; non-structural carbohydrate; allocation; stress condition; Pinus massoniana biomass; non-structural carbohydrate; allocation; stress condition; Pinus massoniana
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Deng, X.; Xiao, W.; Shi, Z.; Zeng, L.; Lei, L. Combined Effects of Drought and Shading on Growth and Non-Structural Carbohydrates in Pinus massoniana Lamb. Seedlings. Forests 2020, 11, 18.

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