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Acclimation of shoot and needle morphology and photosynthesis of two Picea species to differences in soil nutrient availability
- Ishii, H., Ooishi, M., Maruyama, Y., Koike, T.
- Tree physiology 2003 v.23 no.7 pp. 453-461
- Picea glehnii, Picea jezoensis, conifer needles, photosynthesis, net assimilation rate, soil nutrients, nutrient availability, plant adaptation, volcanic soils, forest soils, shoots, plant morphology, plant anatomy, length, seasonal variation, Japan
- To investigate morphological acclimation to differences in nutrient availability, we compared shoot and needle morphology of Picea glehnii (Friedr. Schmidt) M. T. Mast. and Picea jezoensis (Siebold & Zucc.) Carrière trees growing on nutrient-poor volcanic ash and nutrient-rich, brown forest soil. Trees of both species were shorter and had more open canopies when growing on volcanic ash than when growing on brown forest soil. Nutrient-poor conditions limited height growth less in P. glehnii than in P. jezoensis. In both species, trees growing on volcanic ash had shorter annual increments in the previous year and more needles per shoot length and, hence, a smaller shoot silhouette area (SSA) relative to needle dry mass (NDM) than trees growing on brown forest soil. Soil type had less effect on shoot projected needle area (PNA). Total needle area (TNA) of P. glehnii shoots was similar between soil types, whereas TNA of P. jezoensis was lower in trees growing on volcanic ash than in trees growing on brown forest soil. For both species, low SSA in response to nutrient-poor conditions resulted in low shoot SSA/PNA ratios, indicating high within-shoot self-shading. Shoot SSA/TNA of P. glehnii was lower in trees growing on volcanic ash than in trees growing on brown forest soil, indicating that needles were sun-acclimated. In contrast, shoot SSA/TNA of P. jezoensis was higher in trees growing on volcanic ash than in trees growing on brown forest soil. The contrasting response of TNA to low nutrient availability was associated with species-specific differences in needle morphology. Needles of P. glehnii growing on volcanic ash were slightly shorter, wider, thicker and heavier than those of trees growing on brown forest soil, indicating morphological acclimation to high irradiance. Needles of P. jezoensis growing on volcanic ash were shorter than those of trees growing on brown forest soil, but did not show morphological acclimation to high irradiance in width, thickness or mass. For both species, nutrient-poor conditions decreased maximum photosynthetic rate (A(max)) per NDM. However, when expressed per PNA, the decrease in A(max) was reduced, and when expressed per SSA, A(max) was higher in trees growing on volcanic ash than in trees growing on brown forest soil. On volcanic ash, A(max) per NDM was lower for P. glehnii than for P. jezoensis. However, morphological changes at the shoot and needle levels reversed this trend when A(max) was expressed per SSA or per PNA. The species-specific differences in morphological response to differences in soil nutrient availability suggest that P. glehnii is more tolerant of nutrient-poor conditions, whereas P. jezoensis is better at exploiting nutrient-rich soils.