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Article

Effects of Increased N Deposition on Leaf Functional Traits of Four Contrasting Tree Species in Northeast China

1
Key Laboratory of Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Management-Ministry of Education, School of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Heilongjiang, Harbin 150040, China
2
Pakistan Forest Institute Peshawar (PFI), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
3
Sustainable Production, New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Tennent Drive, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand
4
Forest Ecology, Department for Forest and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
A.K. and J.S. contributed equally to this work.
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091231
Received: 23 August 2020 / Revised: 14 September 2020 / Accepted: 16 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Forest Environment and Ecology)
Northeast China is persistently affected by heavy nitrogen (N) deposition. Studying the induced variation in leaf traits is pivotal to develop an understanding of the adaptive plasticity of affected species. This study thus assesses effects of increased N deposition on leaf morphological and anatomical traits and their correlation among and with biomass allocation patterns. A factorial experiment was conducted utilizing seedlings of two gymnosperms (Larix gmelinii, Pinus koraiensis) and two angiosperms (Fraxinus mandshurica, Tilia amurensis). Leaf mass per area and leaf density decreased and leaf thickness increased under high N deposition but trait interrelations remained stable. In gymnosperms, leaf mass per area was correlated to both leaf thickness and area, while being correlated to leaf density only in angiosperms. Epidermis, mesophyll thickness, conduit and vascular bundle diameter increased. Despite the differences in taxonomic groups and leaf habits, the common patterns of variation suggest that a certain degree of convergence exists between the species’ reaction towards N deposition. However, stomata pore length increased in angiosperms, and decreased in gymnosperms under N deposition. Furthermore, biomass and leaf mass fraction were correlated to leaf traits in gymnosperms only, suggesting a differential coordination of leaf traits and biomass allocation patterns under high N deposition per taxonomic group. View Full-Text
Keywords: angiosperms; biomass allocation; gymnosperms; leaf anatomy; leaf morphology; leaf traits; N deposition; tree seedlings; NE China; stomata pore length angiosperms; biomass allocation; gymnosperms; leaf anatomy; leaf morphology; leaf traits; N deposition; tree seedlings; NE China; stomata pore length
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khan, A.; Sun, J.; Zarif, N.; Khan, K.; Jamil, M.A.; Yang, L.; Clothier, B.; Rewald, B. Effects of Increased N Deposition on Leaf Functional Traits of Four Contrasting Tree Species in Northeast China. Plants 2020, 9, 1231. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091231

AMA Style

Khan A, Sun J, Zarif N, Khan K, Jamil MA, Yang L, Clothier B, Rewald B. Effects of Increased N Deposition on Leaf Functional Traits of Four Contrasting Tree Species in Northeast China. Plants. 2020; 9(9):1231. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091231

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khan, Attaullah, Jingjue Sun, Nowsherwan Zarif, Kashif Khan, Muhammad A. Jamil, Lixue Yang, Brent Clothier, and Boris Rewald. 2020. "Effects of Increased N Deposition on Leaf Functional Traits of Four Contrasting Tree Species in Northeast China" Plants 9, no. 9: 1231. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091231

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