Trees

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 479–490 | Cite as

Temporal variation of δ13C of larch leaves from a montane boreal forest in Mongolia

  • Sheng-Gong Li
  • Maki Tsujimura
  • Atsuko Sugimoto
  • Gombo Davaa
  • Dambaravjaa Oyunbaatar
  • Michiaki Sugita
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper reports the temporal variation (2002–2004) in foliar δ13C values, which are indicative of long-term integrated photosynthetic and water use characteristics, of Siberian larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) trees in a montane forest at Mongonmorit, NE Mongolia. At the stand, the δ13C value for understory shaded leaves was more negative by 2‰ on average than that for sunlit leaves sampled concurrently from open and sun-exposed environments in a forest gap. The δ13C value of both sunlit and shaded leaves showed pronounced intra- but relatively small inter-seasonal variations. The δ13C value was more positive for juvenile than mature leaves. We conjecture that juvenile leaves may derive carbon reserves in woody tissues (e.g., stems). Regardless of leaf habitats, the δ13C value was also affected by insect herbivores occurred in mid summer of 2003, being more negative in newly emerging leaves from the twigs after defoliation than in non-defoliated mature leaves. This pattern seems to contrast with that for the juvenile leaves in the early growing season. We surmise that the newly emerging leaves used stored organic carbon that was depleted due to fractionation during remobilization and translocation for leaf regrowth. There was also intra- and inter-seasonal variation in the foliar N concentrations and C:N ratios. A good positive (negative) correlation between the foliar δ13C values and N concentrations (C:N ratios) was also observed for both sunlit and shaded leaves, suggesting that the relationship between water and nitrogen use is a crucial factor affecting the plant carbon–water relationship in this mid latitude forest with a cold semiarid climate. Our isotopic data demonstrate that the larches in NE Mongolia exhibits relatively higher water use efficiency with a distinct within-season variability.

Keywords

Larix sibirica δ13Foliar nitrogen Water use efficiency Insect herbivore Cold semiarid ecosystem 

References

  1. Aerts R (1997) Climate, leaf litter chemistry and leaf litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems: a triangular relationship. Oikos 79:439–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Avice JC, Ourry A, Lemaire G, Boucaud J (1996) Nitrogen and carbon flows estimated by 15N and 13C pulse-chase labeling during regrowth of alfalfa. Plant Physiol 12:281–290Google Scholar
  3. Badeck F, Tcherkez G, Nogués S, Piel C, Ghashghaie J (2005) Post-photosynthetic fractionation of stable carbon isotopes between plant organs-a widespread phenomenon. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 19:1381–1391PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balesdent J, Girardin C, Mariotti A (1993) Site-related of tree leaves and soil organic matter in a temperate forest. Ecology 74:1713–1721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Batjargal Z, Enkhbat A (1998) Biological diversity of Mongolia. First National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Ministry for Nature and Environment of Mongolia and UNEP, UlaanbaatarGoogle Scholar
  6. Benner R, Fogel ML, Sprague EK, Hodson RE (1987) Depletion of 13C in lignin and its implication for stable carbon isotope studies. Nature 329:708–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boutton TW, Archer SR, Midwood AJ, Zitzer SF, Bol R (1998) δ13C values of soil organic carbon and their use in documenting vegetation change in a subtropical savanna ecosystem. Geoderma 82:5–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brendel O (2001) Does bulk-needle δ13C reflect short-term discrimination. Ann For Sci 58:135–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brendel O, Handley L, Griffiths H (2003) The δ13C of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) needles: spatial and temporal variations. Ann For Sci 60:97–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buchmann N, Kao WY, Ehleringer J (1997) Influence of stand structure on 13C of vegetation, soils, and canopy air within deciduous and evergreen forests in Utah, United States. Oecologia 110:109–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chapin III FS, van Cleve K (1990) Approaches to studying nutrient uptake, uses, and loss in plants. In: Pearcy PW, Ehleringer JR, Mooney HA, Rundel PW (eds) Plant physiological ecology: field methods and instrumentation. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 185–207Google Scholar
  12. Chapin III FS, Schulze ED, Mooney HA (1990) The ecology and economics of storage in plants. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 21:423–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chuluunbaatar Ts (2002) Forest fires in northern Mongolian mountains. Int For Fire News 27:92–97Google Scholar
  14. Dagvadorj D, Mijiddorj R (1996) Climate change issues in Mongolia. In: Dagvadorj D, Natsagdorj L (eds) Hydrometeorological issues in Mongolia, papers in hydrometeorology. Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Ulaanbaatar, pp 79–88Google Scholar
  15. Damesin C, Lelarge C (2003) Carbon isotope composition of current-year shoots from Fagus sylvatica in relation to growth, respiration and use of reserves. Plant Cell Environ 26:207–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Damesin C, Rambal S, Joffre R (1997) Between-tree variations in leaf δ13C of Quercus pubescens and Quercus ilex among Mediterranean habitats with different water availability. Oecologia 111:26–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Damesin C, Rambal S, Joffre R (1998) Seasonal and annual changes in leaf δ13C in two co-occurring Mediterranean oaks: relations to leaf growth and drought progression. Funct Ecol 12:778–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeLucia EH, Schlesinger WH (1991) Resource-use efficiency and drought tolerance in adjacent Great Basin and Sierran plants. Ecology 72:51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. DeNiro MJ, Epstein S (1977) Mechanism of carbon isotope fractionation associated with lipid synthesis. Science 197:261–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Duursma RA, Marshall JD (2006) Vertical canopy gradients in δ13C correspond with leaf nitrogen content in a mixed-species conifer forest. Trees 20:496–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Duursma RA, Marshall JD, Nippert JB, Chambers CC, Robinson AP (2005) Estimating leaf-level parameters for ecosystem process models: a study in mixed conifer canopies on complex terrain. Tree Physiol 25:1347–1359PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ehleringer JR, Field CB, Lin Z, Kuo C (1986) Leaf carbon isotope and mineral composition in subtropical plants along an irradiance cline. Oecologia 70:520–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ehleringer JR, Buchmann N, Flanagan LB (2000) Carbon isotope ratios in belowground carbon cycle processes. Ecol Appl 10:412–422Google Scholar
  24. Ehleringer JR, Bowling DR, Flanagan LB, Fessenden J, Helliker B, Martinelli LA, Ometto JP (2002) Stable isotopes and carbon cycle processes in forests and grasslands. Plant Biol 4:181–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Farjon A (1990) Pinaceae: drawings and descriptions of the Genera Abies, Cedrus, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, Nothotsuga, Tsuga, Cathaya, Pseudotsuga, Larix and Picea. Koeltz Scientific Books, KönigsteinGoogle Scholar
  26. Farquhar GD, O’Leary MH, Berry JA (1982) On the relationship between carbon isotope discrimination and intercellular carbon dioxide concentration in the leaves. Aust J Plant Physiol 9:121–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Farquhar GD, Ehleringer JR, Hubick KT (1989a) Carbon isotope discrimination and photosynthesis. Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 40:503–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Farquhar GD, Hubick KT, Condon AG, Richards RA (1989b) Carbon isotope fractionation and plant water-use efficiency. In: Rundel PW, Ehleringer JR, Nagy KA (eds) Stable isotopes in ecological research: ecological studies, vol 68. Springer, New York, pp 21–40Google Scholar
  29. Fessenden JE, Ehleringer JR (2002) Age-related variations in 13C of ecosystem respiration across a coniferous forest chronosequence in the Pacific Northwest. Tree Physiol 22:159–167PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Field C (1983) Allocating leaf nitrogen for the maximization of carbon gain: leaf age as a control on the allocation program. Oecologia 56:341–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Field C, Mooney HA (1986) The photosynthesis–nitrogen relationship in wild plants. In: Givnish TJ (eds) On the economy of plant form and function. Cambridge University Press, London pp 25–55 Google Scholar
  32. Field C, Merino J, Mooney HA (1983) Compromises between water-use efficiency and nitrogen-use efficiency in five species of California evergreens. Oecologia 60:384–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. France R (1996) Carbon isotope ratios in logged and unlogged boreal forests: examination of the potential for determining wildlife habitat use. Environ Manag 20:249–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Francey RJ, Gifford RM, Sharkey TD, Weir B (1985) Physiological influences on carbon isotope discrimination in huon pine (Lagarostrobos franklinii). Oecologia 66:211–218Google Scholar
  35. Garten Jr CT, Cooper LW, Post III WM, Hanson PJ (2000) Climate controls on forest soil C isotope ratios in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Ecology 81:1108–1119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gower ST, Richards JH (1990) Larches: deciduous conifers in an evergreen world. Bioscience 40:818–826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gower ST, Kucharik CJ, Norman JM (1999) Direct and indirect estimation of leaf area index, f APAR, and net primary production of terrestrial eco-systems. Remote Sens Environ 70:29–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hilbig W (1995) The vegetation of Mongolia. SPB Academic Publ, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  39. Hirose T, Werger MJA (1987) Maximizing daily canopy photosynthesis with respect to the leaf nitrogen allocation pattern in the canopy. Oecologia 72:520–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hobbie EA, Werner RA (2004) Intramolecular, compound-specific, and bulk carbon isotope patterns in C3 and C4 plants: a review and synthesis. New Phytol 161:371–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Holtum JAM, Winter K (2005) Carbon isotope composition of canopy leaves in a tropical forest in Panama throughout a seasonal cycle. Trees 19:545–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kloeppel BD, Gower ST, Treichel IW, Kharuk S (1998) Foliar carbon isotope discrimination in Larix species and sympatric evergreen conifers: a global comparison. Oecologia 114:153–159 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Körner Ch, Farquhar GD, Wong SC (1991) Carbon isotope discrimination by plants follows latitudinal and altitudinal trends. Oecologia 88:30–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Leavitt SW, Long A (1986) Stable carbon isotope variability in tree foliage and wood. Ecology 67:1002–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Le Roux X, Bariac T, Sinoquet H, Genty B, Piel C, Mariotti A, Girardin C, Richard P (2001) Spatial distribution of leaf water-use efficiency and carbon isotope discrimination within an isolated tree crown. Plant Cell Environ 24:1021–1032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Le Roux-Swarthout DJ, Terwilliger VJ, Martin CE (2001) Deviation between δ13C and leaf intercellular CO2 in Salix interior cuttings developing under low light. Int J Plant Sci 162:1017–1024 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Li SG, Asanuma J, Kotani A, Eugster W, Davaa G, Oyunbaatar D, Sugita M (2005) Year-round measurements of net ecosystem CO2 flux over a montane larch forest in Mongolia. J Geophys Res Atmos 110:D09303. doi:10.1029/2004JD005453Google Scholar
  48. Li SG, Tsujimura M, Sugimoto A, Sasaki L, Davaa G, Oyunbaatar D, Sugita M (2006) Seasonal variations in oxygen isotope composition of waters for a montane larch forest in Mongolia. Trees 20:22–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Livingston NJ, Whitehead D, Kelliher FM, Wang YP, Grace JC, Walcroft AS, Byers JN, McSeveny TM, Millard P (1998) Nitrogen allocation and carbon isotope fractionation in relation to intercepted radiation and position in a young Pinus radiata D. Don tree. Plant Cell Environ 21:795–803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Livingston NJ, Guy RD, Sun ZJ, Ethier GJ (1999) The effects of nitrogen stress on the stable carbon isotope composition, productivity and water use efficiency of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) seedlings. Plant Cell Environ 22:281–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Marshall JD, Zhang JW (1994) Carbon isotope discrimination and water use efficiency in native plants of the north-central Rockies. Ecology 75:1887–1895 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Medina E, Montes G, Cuevas E, Rokzandic Z (1986) Profiles of CO2 concentration and δ13C values in tropical rain forests of the upper Rio Negro Basin, Venezuela. J Trop Ecol 2:207–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Millard P (1996) Ecophysiology of the internal cycling of nitrogen for tree growth. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 159:1–10Google Scholar
  54. Nadelhoffer KJ, Fry B (1988) Controls on natural nitrogen-15 and carbon-13 abundances in forest soil organic matter. Soil Sci Soc Am J 52:1633–1640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ometto JPHB, Flanagan LB, Martinelli LA, Moroera MZ, Higuchi N, Ehleringer JR (2002) Carbon isotope discrimination in forest and pasture ecosystems of the Amazon basin, Brazil. Global Biogeochem Cycles 16:1109. doi:10.1029/2001GB001462 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pate J, Arthur D (1998) δ13C analysis of phloem sap carbon: novel means of evaluating seasonal water stress and interpreting carbon isotope signatures of foliage and trunk wood of Eucalyptus globulus. Oecologia 117:301–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Patterson TB, Guy RD, Dang QL (1997) Whole-plant nitrogen- and water-relation traits and their associated trade-offs in adjacent muskeg and upland boreal spruce species. Oecologia 110:160–168 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pederson N, Jacoby GC, D’Arrigo RD, Cook ER, Buckley BM (2001) Hydrometeorological reconstructions for northeastern Mongolia derived from tree rings: 1651–1995. J Clim 14:872–881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Prasolova NV, Xu ZH, Farquhar GD, Saffigna PG, Dieters MJ (2001) Canopy carbon and oxygen isotope composition of 9-year-old hoop pine families in relation to seedling carbon isotope composition and growth, field growth performance and canopy nitrogen concentration. Can J For Res 31:673–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Raven JA, Farquhar GD (1990) The influence of N metabolism and organic acid synthesis on the natural abundance of isotopes of carbon in plants. New Phytol 116:505–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Reich PB, Walters MB, Tabone TJ (1989) Response of Ulmus americana seedlings to varying nitrogen and water status. 2. Water- and nitrogen-use efficiency in photosynthesis. Tree Physiol 5:173–184PubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Saurer M, Siegwolf RTW, Schweingruber FH (2004) Carbon isotope discrimination indicates improving water-use efficiency of trees in northern Eurasia over the last 100 years. Global Change Biol 10:2109–2120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schulze ED, Schulze W, Kelliher FM, Vyodskaya NN, Ziegler W, Kobak KI, Koch H, Arneth A, Kusnetsova WA, Sogatchev A, Issajev A, Bauer G, Hollinger DY (1995) Aboveground biomass and nitrogen nutrition in a chronosequence of pristine Dahurian Larix stands in eastern Siberia. Can J For Res 25:943–960Google Scholar
  64. Schwartz D, de Foresta H, Mariotti A, Balesdent J, Massimba JP, Girardin C (1996) Present dynamics of the savanna-forest boundary in the Congolese Mayombe: pedological, botanical and isotopic (13C and 14C) study. Oecologia 106:516–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry, 3 edn. WH Freeman, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  66. Sparks JP, Ehleringer J R (1997) Leaf carbon isotope discrimination and nitrogen content for riparian trees along elevational transects. Oecologia 109:362–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sternberg LDSL, Mulkey SS, Wright SJ (1989) Ecological interpretation of leaf carbon isotope ratios: influence of respired carbon dioxide. Ecology 70:1317–1324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Terwilliger VJ (1997) Changes in the δ13C values of trees during a tropical rainy season: some effects in addition to diffusion and carboxylation by rubisco? Am J Bot 84:1693–1700Google Scholar
  69. Terwilliger VJ, Kitajima K, Le Roux-Swarthout DJ, Mulkey S, Wright SJ (2001) Intrinsic water-use efficiency and heterotrophic investment in tropical leaf growth of two neotropical pioneer tree species as estimated from δ13C values. New Phytol 152:267–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. van der Merwe NJ, Medina E (1989) Photosynthesis and 13C/12C ratios in Amazonian rain forests. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 53:1091–1094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Vogel JC (1978) Recycling of carbon in a forest environment. Oecol Plant 13:89–94Google Scholar
  72. Welker JM, Jónsdóttir IS, Fahnestock JT (2003) Isotopic (δ13C and δ15N) characteristics of Carex plants and populations along the Eurasian Coastal Arctic: results from the Northeast Passage expedition. Polar Biol 27:29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. West AG, Midgley JJ, Bond WJ (2001) The evaluation of δ13C isotopes of trees to determine past regeneration environments. For Ecol Manag 147:139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yoneyama T, Handley LL, Schrimgeour C, Fisher DB, Raven JA (1997) Variations of natural abundances of nitrogen and carbon isotopes in Triticum aestivum, with special reference to phloem and xylem exudates. New Phytol 137:205–213 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zhang JW, Marshall JD (1994) Population differences in water-use efficiency of well-watered and water-stressed western larch seedlings. Can J For Res 24:92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zhang JW, Fins L, Marshall JD (1994) Stable carbon isotope discrimination, photosynthetic gas exchange, and growth differences among western larch families. Tree Physiol 14:531–539PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheng-Gong Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maki Tsujimura
    • 3
  • Atsuko Sugimoto
    • 4
  • Gombo Davaa
    • 5
  • Dambaravjaa Oyunbaatar
    • 5
  • Michiaki Sugita
    • 3
  1. 1.Synthesis Research CenterInstitute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Japan Science and Technology AgencyKawaguchiJapan
  3. 3.Division of Geo-Environmental SciencesGraduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of TsukubaIbarakiJapan
  4. 4.Division of GeosciencesGraduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Institute of Meteorology and HydrologyUlaanbaatarMongolia

Personalised recommendations