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Ultraviolet radiation modulates C:N stoichiometry and biomass allocation in Fagus sylvatica saplings cultivated under elevated CO2 concentration

Uchytilová, Tereza, Krejza, Jan, Veselá, Barbora, Holub, Petr, Urban, Otmar, Horáček, Petr, Klem, Karel
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2019 v.134 pp. 103-112
Fagus sylvatica subsp. sylvatica, aboveground biomass, acclimation, biomass production, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide enrichment, climate, climate change, dry matter partitioning, environmental factors, fine roots, leaves, nitrogen, nitrogen content, phytomass, saplings, stoichiometry, temperature, terrestrial ecosystems, ultraviolet radiation
Under the conditions of ongoing climate change, terrestrial ecosystems will be simultaneously exposed to a permanent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration and increasing variability of such environmental factors as temperature, precipitation, and UV radiation. This will result in numerous interactions. The interactive effects caused by exposure to such multiple environmental factors are not yet well understood. We tested the hypotheses that enhanced UV radiation reduces the stimulatory effect of elevated CO2 concentration on plant biomass production and that it alters biomass allocation in broadleaved European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) saplings. Our results after 2 years of exposure confirmed interactive effects of CO2 concentration and UV radiation on biomass production, and particularly on biomass allocation to roots and aboveground biomass. The strongest stimulatory effect of elevated CO2 on aboveground biomass and roots was found under ambient UV radiation, while both low and high UV doses reduced this stimulation. Nitrogen content in the roots and the distribution of nitrogen among leaves and roots were also significantly affected by interaction of CO2 concentration and UV radiation. The observed changes in leaf and root C:N stoichiometry were associated with altered morphological traits, and particularly with a change in the proportion of fine roots. As the biomass allocation and especially the proportion of fine roots can play an important role in effective water and nutrient use and acclimation to future climates, it is essential to obtain a deeper understanding of the links between C:N stoichiometry and biomass accumulation.