Plant and Soil

, Volume 371, Issue 1–2, pp 19–35 | Cite as

Influence of potassium and sodium nutrition on leaf area components in Eucalyptus grandis trees

  • Patricia Battie-Laclau
  • Jean-Paul LaclauEmail author
  • Marisa de Cassia Piccolo
  • Bruna Cersózimo Arenque
  • Constance Beri
  • Lauriane Mietton
  • Marta R. Almeida Muniz
  • Lionel Jordan-Meille
  • Marcos Silveira Buckeridge
  • Yann Nouvellon
  • Jacques Ranger
  • Jean-Pierre Bouillet
Regular Article


Background and Aims

Recent studies showed a positive tree response to Na addition in K-depleted tropical soils. Our study aimed to gain insight into the effects of K and Na fertilizations on leaf area components for a widely planted tree species.


Leaf expansion rates, as well as nutrient, polyol and soluble sugar concentrations, were measured from emergence to abscission of tagged leaves in 1-year-old Eucalyptus grandis plantations. Leaf cell size and water status parameters were compared 1 and 2 months after leaf emergence in plots with KCl application (+K), NaCl application (+Na) and control plots (C).


K and Na applications enhanced tree leaf area by increasing both leaf longevity and the mean area of individual leaves. Higher cell turgor in treatments +K and +Na than in the C treatment resulting from higher concentrations of osmotica contributed to increasing both palisade cell diameters and the size of fully expanded leaves.


Intermediate total tree leaf area in treatment +Na compared to treatments C and +K might result from the capacity of Na to substitute K in osmoregulatory functions, whereas it seemed unable to accomplish other important K functions that contribute to delaying leaf senescence.


Na Nutrient Leaf area Expansion Leaf lifespan Leaf longevity Osmotic potential Cell turgor Soluble sugars Cell size 



We gratefully acknowledge Rildo Moreira e Moreira and the staff at the Itatinga Experimental Station (Esalq-Usp), as well as Eder Araujo da Silva ( for their technical support. We are grateful to Pr. Beatriz Appezzato da Glória (Laboratório de Anatomia Vegetal, ESALQ, USP) for her contribution to anatomical measurements. We thank Philippe Borianne (CIRAD) for his contribution to the development of the Toaster plug-in of the Image J® software. We acknowledge Hélène Guillemain for logistical assistance as well as two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.


The study was funded by FAPESP (Project 2010/50663-8), AGREENIUM (Plantotrem project) and USP-COFECUB (Project 2011-25).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Battie-Laclau
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Laclau
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Marisa de Cassia Piccolo
    • 1
  • Bruna Cersózimo Arenque
    • 4
  • Constance Beri
    • 5
  • Lauriane Mietton
    • 6
  • Marta R. Almeida Muniz
    • 7
  • Lionel Jordan-Meille
    • 8
  • Marcos Silveira Buckeridge
    • 4
  • Yann Nouvellon
    • 2
    • 9
  • Jacques Ranger
    • 10
  • Jean-Pierre Bouillet
    • 2
    • 11
  1. 1.Universidade de São Paulo, CENAPiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.CIRAD, UMR Eco&SolsMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.UNESP, Natural Resources DepartmentBotucatuBrazil
  4. 4.Ecology Department, IBUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture d’AngersAngers Cedex 01France
  6. 6.AgroParisTechParis Cedex 05France
  7. 7.ESALQ, Biological Science DepartmentUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  8. 8.Université de Bordeaux, UMR 1220 TCEMVillenave d’OrnonFrance
  9. 9.Atmospheric Science Department, IAG, CEPUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  10. 10.INRA, UR Biogéochimie des Ecosystèmes ForestiersChampenouxFrance
  11. 11.Forest Science DepartmentUniversidade de São Paulo, ESALQPiracicabaBrazil

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