Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 17–29

Biomass and Stored Carbohydrate Compensation after Above-Ground Biomass Removal in a Perennial Herb: Does Environmental Productivity Play a Role?

  • Vít Latzel
  • Štěpán Janeček
  • Tomáš Hájek
  • Jitka Klimešová
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12224-013-9162-4

Cite this article as:
Latzel, V., Janeček, Š., Hájek, T. et al. Folia Geobot (2014) 49: 17. doi:10.1007/s12224-013-9162-4

Abstract

Many plant species are able to tolerate severe disturbance leading to removal of a substantial portion of the body by resprouting from intact or fragmented organs. Resprouting enables plants to compensate for biomass loss and complete their life cycles. The degree of disturbance tolerance, and hence the ecological advantage of damage tolerance (in contrast to alternative strategies), has been reported to be affected by environmental productivity. In our study, we examined the influence of soil nutrients (as an indicator of environmental productivity) on biomass and stored carbohydrate compensation after removal of aboveground parts in the perennial resprouter Plantago lanceolata. Specifically, we tested and compared the effects of nutrient availability on biomass and carbon storage in damaged and undamaged individuals. Damaged plants of P. lanceolata compensated neither in terms of biomass nor overall carbon storage. However, whereas in the nutrient-poor environment, root total non-structural carbohydrate concentrations (TNC) were similar for damaged and undamaged plants, in the nutrient-rich environment, damaged plants had remarkably higher TNC than undamaged plants. Based on TNC allocation patterns, we conclude that tolerance to disturbance is promoted in more productive environments, where higher photosynthetic efficiency allows for successful replenishment of carbohydrates. Although plants under nutrient-rich conditions did not compensate in terms of biomass or seed production, they entered winter with higher content of carbohydrates, which might result in better performance in the next growing season. This otherwise overlooked compensation mechanism might be responsible for inconsistent results reported from other studies.

Keywords

Compensation Disturbance HPLC Non-structural carbohydrate storages Nutrients Photosynthesis Plantago lanceolata Resprouting 

Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vít Latzel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Štěpán Janeček
    • 3
  • Tomáš Hájek
    • 3
  • Jitka Klimešová
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute of BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicTřeboňCzech Republic