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Article

Precipitation Gradient Drives Divergent Relationship between Non-Structural Carbohydrates and Water Availability in Pinus tabulaeformis of Northern China

1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
Department of Biogeochemical Processes, Max—Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany
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College of Urban and Environmental Sciences and MOE Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VG 22904, USA
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State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
7
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2021, 12(2), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020133
Received: 24 December 2020 / Revised: 19 January 2021 / Accepted: 19 January 2021 / Published: 25 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Seasonal non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) dynamics in different organs can indicate the strategies trees use to cope with water stress; however, these dynamics remain poorly understood along a large precipitation gradient. In this study, we hypothesized that the correlation between water availability and NSC concentrations in different organs might be strengthened by decreasing precipitation in Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. forests in temperate China. Our results show that the concentrations of soluble sugars were lower in stems and coarse roots, and starch was higher in branches in the early growing season at drier sites. Throughout the growing season, the concentrations of soluble sugars increased in drier sites, especially for leaves, and remained stable in wetter sites, while starch concentrations were relatively stable in branches and stems at all sites. The NSC concentrations, mainly starch, decreased in coarse roots along the growing season at drier sites. Trees have a faster growth rate with an earlier cessation in active stem growth at drier sites. Interestingly, we also found a divergent relationship between NSCs in different organs and mean growing season water availability, and a stronger correlation was observed in drier sites. These results show that pine forests in arid and semi-arid regions of northern China exhibit different physiological responses to water availability, improving our understanding of the adaptive mechanisms of trees to water limitations in a warmer and drier climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs); precipitation gradient; water availability; stem growth; forest non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs); precipitation gradient; water availability; stem growth; forest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hao, B.; Hartmann, H.; Li, Y.; Liu, H.; Shi, F.; Yu, K.; Li, X.; Li, Z.; Wang, P.; Allen, C.D.; Wu, X. Precipitation Gradient Drives Divergent Relationship between Non-Structural Carbohydrates and Water Availability in Pinus tabulaeformis of Northern China. Forests 2021, 12, 133. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020133

AMA Style

Hao B, Hartmann H, Li Y, Liu H, Shi F, Yu K, Li X, Li Z, Wang P, Allen CD, Wu X. Precipitation Gradient Drives Divergent Relationship between Non-Structural Carbohydrates and Water Availability in Pinus tabulaeformis of Northern China. Forests. 2021; 12(2):133. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020133

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hao, Bingyan, Henrik Hartmann, Yuanqiao Li, Hongyan Liu, Fangzhong Shi, Kailiang Yu, Xiaoyan Li, Zongshan Li, Pei Wang, Craig D. Allen, and Xiuchen Wu. 2021. "Precipitation Gradient Drives Divergent Relationship between Non-Structural Carbohydrates and Water Availability in Pinus tabulaeformis of Northern China" Forests 12, no. 2: 133. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020133

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