New aluminum hyperaccumulator species of the Proteaceae family from southern South America
Considering that some members of the Proteaceae family are aluminum (Al) and manganese (Mn)–hyperaccumulating species, we aimed to evaluate the presence of the metal hyperaccumulation trait in the Proteaceae family inhabiting southern South America. We also questioned whether other metals (e.g. iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn)) are hyperaccumulated in the leaves of these species.
Mature and senesced leaves of the six Proteaceae species (Embothrium coccineum, Gevuina avellana, Orites myrtoidea, Lomatia hirsuta, L. ferruginea, and L. dentata) as well as soil samples were collected at nine sites along a very extensive latitudinal gradient in southern Chile. Leaves and soil samples were used for chemical analyses.
The results showed that G. avellana, L. dentata and O. myrtoídea are Al hyperaccumulators, with G. avellana showing the highest leaf Al concentrations. These leaf Al concentrations were independent of percentage of Al saturation and soil pH. No other metal (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn) was hyperaccumulated in Proteaceae leaves. However, high Mn concentrations in leaves were found, especially in the species with the lowest values of Al concentrations in their leaves.
Three of six species evaluated showed Al hyperaccumulation in their leaves, suggesting that this trait is common in Proteaceae from southern South America.
KeywordsAcid soils Chilean soils Leaf and soil micronutrients Metals Temperate forests
This study was financed by the Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT) of Chilean government through FONDECYT initiation project N° 11170368 (MD), FONDECYT Postdoctoral project N° 3150187 (MD) and N° 3170629 (PB), and FONDECYT Regular projects N° 1180699 (AZ–F) and N° 1171286 (MR-D). The authors wish to thank all the people (Ariana Bertin, Andrea Ávila, Gaston Muñoz, and others) who participated in field trips for the collection of soil and leaf samples. Thanks also to Dr. Hans Lambers for reviewing, editing and giving suggestions to the manuscript, which greatly improved it.
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