Aluminum toxicity to tropical montane forest tree seedlings in southern Ecuador:
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We determined the reasons why in nutrient solution increasing Al concentrations >300 μ M inhibited shoot biomass production of Cedrela odorata L., Heliocarpus americanus L., and Tabebuia chrysantha (Jacq.) G. Nicholson while 300 μ M Al stimulated root biomass production of Tabebuia chrysantha.
Nutrient concentrations in plant tissue after a hydroponic growth experiment were determined.
Increasing Al concentrations significantly decreased Mg concentrations in leaves. Phosphorus concentrations in roots of C. odorata and T. chrysantha were significantly highest in the treatment with 300 μ M Al and correlated significantly with root biomass.
Shoot biomass production was likely inhibited by reduced Mg uptake, impairing photosynthesis. The stimulation of root growth at low Al concentrations can be possibly attributed to improved P uptake.
KeywordsAluminum toxicity Tropical forest tree seedlings Nutrient deficiency Growth stimulation by phosphorus
We thank Karoline Klaus, Katharina Kitzinger, Jose Luis Peña Caivinagua and Orly Mendoza Aguirre for support in set up of the experiment, Nature and Culture International in Loja, EC, for providing the study area and the research station, Ecuadorian authorities for the research permit and the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding (FOR 816, Wi 1601/8-2).
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