Biological Invasions

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 891–902

Nitrogen allocation, partitioning and use efficiency in three invasive plant species in comparison with their native congeners

Original Paper

Abstract

In this study, we hypothesized that invasive species may allocate a higher fraction of leaf nitrogen (N) to photosynthesis than phylogenetically related native species. To test this hypothesis, we determined N allocation and other ecophysiological traits of three invasive species in comparison with their respective native congeners by measuring response curves of photosynthesis to intercellular CO2 concentration. The invasive species of Peperomia and Piper indeed allocated a higher fraction of leaf N to photosynthesis and were more efficient in photosynthetic N (NP) partitioning than their native congeners. The two invasive species partitioned a higher fraction of NP to carboxylation and showed a higher use efficiency of NP, while their native congeners partitioned a higher fraction of NP to light-harvesting components. The higher N allocation to photosynthesis and the higher NP partitioning to carboxylation in the two invaders were associated with their higher specific leaf area. Nitrogen allocation and partitioning were the most important factors in explaining the differences in light-saturated photosynthetic rate and photosynthetic N use efficiency (PNUE) between the two invasive species and their native congeners. The differences in N allocation-related variables between the invasive and native species of Amaranthus could not be evaluated in this study due to the method. Except PNUE, resource capture- and use-related traits were not always higher in all three invasive species compared to their native congeners, indicating that different invasive species may have different syndrome of traits associated with its invasiveness.

Keywords

Construction cost Invasiveness Leaf area ratio Nitrogen allocation and partitioning Nitrogen use efficiency Photosynthesis Specific leaf area Trade-off 

Abbreviations

Ci

Intercellular CO2 concentration

CC

Leaf construction cost

Chl

Leaf chlorophyll content

Gs

Stomatal conductance

Jmax

Maximum electron transport rate

LAR

Leaf area ratio

LMF

Leaf mass fraction

NA

Area-based leaf nitrogen content

NB

Nitrogen content in bioenergetics

NB/NP

The fraction of the photosynthetic nitrogen partitioned to bioenergetics

NC

Nitrogen content in carboxylation

NC/NP

The fraction of the photosynthetic nitrogen partitioned to carboxylation

NC +B

NC + NB

NL

Nitrogen content in light-harvesting components

NL/NP

The fraction of the photosynthetic nitrogen partitioned to light-harvesting components

NM

Mass-based leaf nitrogen content

NP

Nitrogen content in all components of the photosynthetic apparatus

PB

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to bioenergetics

PC

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to carboxylation

PC+B

PC + PB

PL

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to light-harvesting components

Pmax

Light-saturated photosynthetic rate

Pmax/NP

Photosynthetic use efficiency of the photosynthetic nitrogen

Pn

Net photosynthetic rate

PT

The fraction of leaf nitrogen allocated to all components of the photosynthetic apparatus

PNUE

Photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency

PPFD

Photosynthetic photon flux density

Rd

Dark respiration rate

SLA

Specific leaf area

Vcmax

Maximum carboxylation rate

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina

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