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Plant and Soil

, Volume 341, Issue 1–2, pp 295–307 | Cite as

Nitrogen and phosphorus retranslocation and N:P ratios of litterfall in three tropical plantations: luxurious N and efficient P use by Acacia mangium

  • Masahiro InagakiEmail author
  • Koichi Kamo
  • Kazuki Miyamoto
  • Jupiri Titin
  • Lenim Jamalung
  • Jaffirin Lapongan
  • Satoru Miura
Regular Article

Abstract

Some tropical N2-fixing trees exhibit specific characteristics for phosphorus (P) acquisition and utilisation that contrast with the large nitrogen (N) fluxes in their litterfall. To investigate differences in N and P cycling in N2-fixing plantations, litterfall and fresh leaf quality of a N2-fixing Acacia mangium plantation were compared with that of a non-N2-fixing Swietenia macrophylla plantation and a coniferous Araucaria cunninghamii plantation. The N concentration in the A. mangium litterfall was higher than that in the litterfall of the two other species, whereas the P concentration in the A. mangium leaf litterfall was 0.16 mg g–1, which was only 12–22% of that of the other species. The P concentration in the reproductive parts of A. mangium was markedly higher (16.1 mg g–1) than those in the other fractions. The N:P ratio was higher in the leaf fall (81) compared to the fresh leaves (29) of A. mangium, in contrast to the N:P ratios in the leaf samples of the other two species. An analysis of a global litterfall dataset of tropical plantations indicated that N:P ratios in litterfall were significantly higher in N2-fixers than in non-N2-fixers, and those of A. mangium were high among species in the N2-fixer group. These results indicated that A. mangium efficiently retranslocated P in contrast to very large N cycling, under field conditions. These differences may be related to other physiological characteristics of A. mangium.

Keywords

Litter quality Leguminous tree Nutrient demand Resorption N-to-P ratio 

Abbreviations

NuUE

Nutrient-use efficiency

L/F

Ratio of element concentration leaf litterfall to that in fresh leaves

ICP-AES

Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry

SMA

Standardised major axis

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. K.V. Sankaran for access to his original litterfall dataset (published in Binkley et al. 1997). We thank staff of the Sabah Forest Research Centre for assistance with litterfall sampling and Mss. Jalimah Badin, Liza Minsuan and Petronella Anthony for sample treatment. We also thank Dr. Yoshiyuki Inagaki for his valuable advice on the model II regression and resorption, and Drs. Shinji Kaneko and Junko Nagakura for their valuable comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. This study was carried out as a part of an international cooperative research project between the Sabah Forestry Department and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences and was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, “Development of Agroforestry Technology for the Rehabilitation of Tropical Forests.”

Supplementary material

11104_2010_644_MOESM1_ESM.xls (58 kb)
Appendix 1 List of nutrient fluxes through litterfall in tropical plantations (XLS 57.5 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Inagaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Koichi Kamo
    • 2
  • Kazuki Miyamoto
    • 3
  • Jupiri Titin
    • 4
  • Lenim Jamalung
    • 4
  • Jaffirin Lapongan
    • 4
  • Satoru Miura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest Site EnvironmentForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Forest Science and Technology InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Shikoku Research CenterForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteKochiJapan
  4. 4.Forest Research CentreSandakanMalaysia

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