Oecologia

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 457–462 | Cite as

Shading and the capture of localized soil nutrients: nutrient contents, carbohydrates, and root uptake kinetics of a perennial tussock grass

  • R. B. Jackson
  • M. M. Caldwell
Original Papers

Summary

The ability to exploit spatial and temporal heterogeneity in soil resources can be one factor important to the competitive balance of plants. Competition above-ground may limit selective plant responses to below-ground heterogeneity, since mechanisms such as root proliferation and alterations in uptake kinetics are energy-dependent processes. We studied the effect of shading on the ability of the perennial tussock grassAgropyron desertorum to take up nutrients from enriched soil microsites in two consecutive growing seasons. Roots of unshaded plants selectively increased phosphate uptake capacity in enriched soil microsites (mean increases of up to 73%), but shading eliminated this response. There were no changes in ammonium uptake capacity for roots in control and enriched patches for either shaded or unshaded plants. The 9-day shade treatments significantly reduced total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) concentrations for roots in 1990, but had no apparent effect on root carbohydrates in 1991 despite dramatic reductions in shoot TNC and fructan concentrations. Enrichment of the soil patches resulted in significantly greater phosphate concentrations in roots of both shaded and unshaded plants, with less dramatic differences for nitrogen and no changes in potassium concentrations. In many respects the shaded plants did surprisingly well, at least in terms of apparent nutrient acquisition. The effects of aboveground competition on nutrient demand, energy requirements, and belowground processes are discussed for plants exploiting soil resource heterogeneity.

Key words

Agropyron Carbohydrates Phosphate and ammonium uptake kinetics Roots and soil microsites Shading 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aerts R, Boot RGA, van der Aart PJM (1991) The relation between above and belowground biomass allocation patterns and competitive ability. Oecologia 87: 551–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen MF, MacMahon JA (1985) Impact of disturbance on cold desert fungi: comparative microscale dispersion patterns. Pedobiologia 28: 215–224Google Scholar
  3. Allen MF, Richards JH, Busso CA (1989) Influence of clipping and soil water status on vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae of two semi-arid tussock grasses. Biol Fert Soils 8: 285–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Caldwell MM, Richards JH, Johnson DA, Nowak RS, Dzurec RS (1981) Coping with herbivory: photosynthetic capacity and resource allocation in two semiaridAgropyron bunchgrasses. Oecologia 50: 14–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Campbell BD, Grime JP, Mackey JML (1991) A trade-off between scale and precision in resource foraging. Oecologia 87: 532–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapin FS III, Bloom AJ, Field CB, Waring RH (1987) Plant responses to multiple environmental factors. Bioscience 37: 49–57Google Scholar
  7. Chapin FS III, Fetcher N, Kielland K, Everett KR, Linkins AE (1988) Productivity and nutrient cycling of Alaskan tundra: Enhancement by flowing water. Ecology 69: 693–702Google Scholar
  8. Chatterton NJ, Harrison PA, Bennett JH, Thornley WR (1987) Fructan, starch, and sucrose contents in crested wheatgrass and redtop as affected by temperature. Plant Physiol Biochem 25: 617–623Google Scholar
  9. Chatterton NJ, Harrison PA, Bennett JH, Asay KH (1989) Carbohydrate partioning in 185 accessions of Graminae grown under warm and cool temperatures. J Plant Physiol 134: 169–179Google Scholar
  10. Clarkson DT (1985) Factors affecting mineral nutrient acquisition by plants. Ann Rev Plant Physiol 36: 77–115Google Scholar
  11. Corré WJ (1983) Growth and morphogenesis of sun and shade plants. III. The combined effects of light intensity and nutrient supply. Acta Bot Neerl 32: 277–294Google Scholar
  12. Crapo NL, Ketellapper HJ (1981) Metabolic priorities with respect to growth and mineral uptake in roots of Hordeum, Triticum, and Lycopersicon. Am J Bot 68: 10–16Google Scholar
  13. Dillman A (1946) The beginnings of crested wheatgrass in North America. J Amer Soc Agron 28: 237–250Google Scholar
  14. Dimler RJ, Schaefer WC, Wise CS, Rist CE (1952) Quantitative paper chromatography of D-Glucose and its oligosaccharides. Analytical Chem 24: 1411–1414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donald CM (1958) The interaction of competition for light and for nutrients. Aust J Agric Res 9: 421–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Drew MC, Saker LR (1975) Nutrient supply and the growth of the seminal root system in barley. II. Localized compensatory increases in lateral root growth and rates of nitrate uptake when nitrate supply is restricted to only part of the root system. J Exp Bot 26: 79–90Google Scholar
  17. Evans JR, von Caemmerer S, Adams WW III (eds) (1988) Ecology of photosynthesis in sun and shade. Aust J Plant Physiol 15: 1 and 2Google Scholar
  18. Garnier E (1991) Resource capture, biomass allocation and growth in herbaceous plants. Trends Ecol Evol 6: 126–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glass ADM (1989) Plant nutrition: an introduction to current concepts. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Boston, Mass., USAGoogle Scholar
  20. Gold WG, Caldwell MM (1989) The effects of the spatial pattern of defoliation on regrowth of a tussock grass. II. Canopy gas exchange. Oecologia 81: 437–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hunt R, Burnett JA (1973) The effects of light intensity and external potassium level on root/shoot ratio and rates of potassium uptake in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Ann Bot 37: 519–537Google Scholar
  22. Jackson RB, Caldwell MM (1989) The timing and degree of root proliferation in fertile-soil microsites for three cold-desert perennials. Oecologia 81: 149–153Google Scholar
  23. Jackson RB, Caldwell MM (1991) Kinetic responses ofPseudoroegneria roots to localized soil enrichment. Plant Soil 138: 231–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jackson RB, Manwaring JH, Caldwell MM (1990) Rapid physiological adjustment of roots to localized soil enrichment. Nature 344: 58–60Google Scholar
  25. Jungk A, Claassen N (1986) Availability of phosphate and potassium as the result of interactions between root and soil in the rhizosphere. Z. Pflanzenernaehr. Bodenkd. 149: 411–427Google Scholar
  26. Massimino D, André M, Richaud C, Daguenet A, Massimino J, Vivoli J (1981) The effect of a day at low irradiance of a maize crop. I. Root respiration and uptake of N, P, and K. Physiol Plant 51: 150–155Google Scholar
  27. Mooney HA (1972) The carbon balance of plants. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 3: 315–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Olff H, van Andel J, Bakker JP (1990) Biomass and shoot/root allocation of five species from a grassland succession series at different combinations of light and nutrient supply. Func Ecol 4: 193–200Google Scholar
  29. Osman AM (1971) Root respiration of wheat plants as influenced by age, temperature, and irradiation of shoots. Photosynthetica 5: 107–112Google Scholar
  30. Peace WJH, Grubb PJ (1982) Interaction of light and mineral nutrient supply in the growth ofImpatients parviflora. New Phytol 90: 127–150Google Scholar
  31. Pollock CJ, Cairns AJ (1991) Fructan metabolism in grasses and cereals. Ann Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 42: 77–101Google Scholar
  32. Remison SU, Snaydon RW (1980) A comparison of root competition and shoot competition betweenDactylis glomerata andHolcus lanatus. Grass Forage Sci 35: 183–187Google Scholar
  33. Richie RJ (1987) The permeability of ammonia, methylamine and ethylamine in the CharophyteChara coarllina (C. australis). J Exp Bot 38: 67–76Google Scholar
  34. SAS Institute (1985) SAS user's guide: statistics. SAS Institute, Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
  35. Southard A, Wilson L, Erickson A (1978) Chemical and physical properties of the soils of the Cache Valley area and eastern portion of Box Elder County, Utah. Utah Agric Exp Stat Res Rep 31. Utah State University Press, Logan, UTGoogle Scholar
  36. St. John TV, Coleman DC, Reid CPP (1983) Growth and spatial distribution of nutrient-absorbing organs: selective exploitation of soil heterogeneity. Plant Soil 71: 487–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wardlaw IF (1968) The control and pattern of movement of carbohydrates in plants. Bot Rev 34: 79–105Google Scholar
  38. West NE (1988) Intermountain deserts, shrub steppes, and woodlands. In: Barbour MG, Billings WD (eds.) North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. Wilson JB (1988) Shoot competition and root competition. J Appl Ecol 25: 279–296Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Jackson
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. M. Caldwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Range Science and the Ecology CenterUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

Personalised recommendations