Plant Nutrition — Physiology and Applications

Volume 41 of the series Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences pp 101-106

Nitrate assimilation and nitrate content in different organs of ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior)

  • G. GebauerAffiliated withLehrstuhl für Pflanzenökologie, Universität Bayreuth
  • , J. StadlerAffiliated withLehrstuhl für Pflanzenökologie, Universität Bayreuth

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Nitrate reductase activity (NRA), nitrate content and biomass proportions of leaflets, leaf stalks, shoot axis segments and fine and large roots of 10–13 years old ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior L.) growing in their natural habitats were investigated. Nitrate distribution between different organs of Fraxinus excelsior was quite similar to that found in herbaceous plants. The highest nitrate concentrations per g dry weight were found in the leaf stalks. In contrast to general textbook knowledge, the most pronounced nitrate assimilation was not found in roots, but in the shoot of this tree species. The highest NRA per g dry weight and also per total biomass was found in the leaflets, although root biomass was much higher than total leaflet biomass. The implications for nitrate use in tree species are discussed.

Key words

biomass Fraxinus excelsior L. nitrate nitrate reductase plant organs