Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 131, Issue 5, pp 759–769 | Cite as

Nitrogen acquisition, net production and allometry of Alnus fruticosa at a young moraine in Koryto Glacier Valley, Kamchatka, Russian Far East

  • Koichi TakahashiEmail author
  • Kosuke Homma
  • Jiri Dorezal
  • Kotaro Yamagata
  • Valentina P. Vetrova
  • Toshihiko Hara
Regular Paper


Alders (Alnus spp.) often dominate at nutrient-poor sites by symbiotic relations with atmospheric nitrogen-fixing bacteria. However, little is known about quantitative relationships between root nodule as a nitrogen acquisition organ and leaf as a carbon acquisition organ. To examine carbon allocation, nitrogen acquisition and net production in nutrient-poor conditions, we examined allocation patterns among organs of shrub Alnus fruticosa at a young 80-year-old moraine in Kamchatka. Slopes of double-log allometric equations were significantly smaller than 1.0 for the root mass, leaf mass and root nodule mass against stem mass, and for the root nodule mass against root mass, indicating that smaller individuals invested disproportionally more biomass into resource-acquiring leaf and root tissues than to supportive tissues compared to older individuals. The slope of allometric equation of root depth against stem height was 0.542, indicating that smaller/younger individuals allocate disproportionally more biomass into root length growth than stem height growth. On the contrary, the root nodule mass isometrically scaled to leaf mass. The whole-plant nitrogen content also isometrically scaled to root nodule mass, indicating that a certain ratio of nitrogen acquisition depended on root nodules, irrespective of plant size. Although the net production per plant increased with the increase in stem mass, the slope of the double-log regression was smaller than 1.0. On the contrary, the net production per plant isometrically increased with leaf mass, root nodule mass and leaf nitrogen content per plant. Since the leaf mass isometrically scaled to root nodule mass, growth of each individual occurred at the leaves and root nodules in a coordinated manner. It is suggested that their isometric increase contributes to the increase in net production per plant for A. fruticosa in nutrient-poor conditions.


Allometry Deglaciation Growth Isometry Primary succession Root nodule 



We would like to express our sincere thanks to Alexander Ovsyannikov, Marina P. Vyatkina, Sergey Florenzev and Nikolai V. Kazakov for their support of our study. This study was supported by the COE fellowship of the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, provided by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan. JD was supported by GACR 17-19376S.


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koichi Takahashi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kosuke Homma
    • 3
  • Jiri Dorezal
    • 4
  • Kotaro Yamagata
    • 5
  • Valentina P. Vetrova
    • 6
  • Toshihiko Hara
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Mountain ScienceShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Agriculture, Field Center for Sustainable Agriculture and ForestryNiigata UniversitySadoJapan
  4. 4.Section of Plant Ecology, Institute of BotanyCzech Academy of SciencesTřeboňCzech Republic
  5. 5.Division of Social StudiesJoetsu University of EducationJoetsuJapan
  6. 6.Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of GeographyFar Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesPetropavlovsk-KamchatskyRussia
  7. 7.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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