Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 127, Issue 2, pp 315–328 | Cite as

Responses to nitrogen pulses and growth under low nitrogen availability in invasive and native tree species with differing successional status

  • Yoko Osone
  • Kenichi Yazaki
  • Takeshi Masaki
  • Atsushi Ishida
Regular Paper


Invasive species are frequently found in recently disturbed sites. To examine how these disturbance-dependent invasive species exploit resource pulses resulting from disturbance, twelve physiological and morphological traits, including age-dependent responsiveness in leaf traits to nitrogen pulse, were compared between Bischofia javanica, an invasive tree species in Ogasawara islands, and three native Ogasawara species, each having a different successional status. When exposed to a nitrogen pulse, invasive B. javanica showed higher increases in photosynthetic capacity, leaf area, epidermal cell number and cell size in leaves of broad age classes, and root nitrogen absorption ability than two native mid-/late or late-successional species, but showed no particular superiority to a native pioneer species in these responses. Under low nitrogen, however, it showed the largest relative growth rate among the four species, while the native pioneer showed the lowest growth. From these results, we concluded that the combination of moderately high responsiveness to resource pulses and the ability to maintain steady growth under resource limitations may give B. javanica a competitive advantage over a series of native species with different successional status from early to late-successional stages.


Developmental constraints Disturbance Leaf area Oceanic islands Photosynthesis Tolerance 



We thank Naoko Yamashita and Shuichi Sugiyama for helpful advice in the analysis and collection of data, and Kouki Hikosaka for valuable comments of earlier version of this manuscript. Two anonymous reviewers provided insightful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by Grant-in-aid of the Japan Ministry of Education, Science and Culture [18770022, 24370009] and by grant-in-aid from Fujiwara Natural History foundation.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Osone
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kenichi Yazaki
    • 3
  • Takeshi Masaki
    • 3
  • Atsushi Ishida
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science and EngineeringTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiojiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Natural ScienceInternational Christian UniversityMitakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Plant EcologyForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Center for Ecological ResearchKyoto UniversityOhtsuJapan

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