, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 466–474 | Cite as

Carbon and nitrogen partitioning in the biennial monocarp Arctium tomentosum Mill

  • H. Heilmeier
  • E. -D. Schulze
  • D. M. Whale
Original Papers


Growth and nitrogen partitioning were investigated in the biennial monocarp Arctium tomentosum in the field, in plants growing at natural light conditions, in plants in which approximately half the leaf area was removed and in plants growing under 20% of incident irradiation. Growth quantities were derived from splined cubic polynomial exponential functions fitted to dry matter, leaf area and nitrogen data.

Main emphasis was made to understanding of the significance of carbohydrate and nitrogen storage of a large tuber during a 2-years' life cycle, especially the effect of storage on biomass and seed yield in the second season. Biomass partitioning favours growth of leaves in the first year rosette stage. Roots store carbohydrates at a constant rate and increase storage of carbohydrates and nitrogen when the leaves decay at the end of the first season. In the second season the reallocation of carbohydrates from storage is relatively small, but reallocation of nitrogen is very large. Carbohydrate storage just primes the growth of the first leaves in the early growing season, nitrogen storage contributes 20% to the total nitrogen requirement during the 2nd season. The efficiency of carbohydrate storage for conversion into new biomass is about 40%. Nitrogen is reallocated 3 times in the second year, namely from the tuber to rosette leaves and further to flower stem leaves and eventually into seeds. The harvest index for nitrogen is 0.73, whereas for biomass it is only 0.19.

Key words

Biennial plants Carbon partitioning Nitrogen partitioning Storage Harvest index 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Heilmeier
    • 1
  • E. -D. Schulze
    • 1
  • D. M. Whale
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für PflanzenökologieUniversität BayreuthBayreuthFederal Republic of Germany

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