Plant Ecology

, Volume 178, Issue 1, pp 29–37 | Cite as

Nitrogen resorption from leaves under different growth irradiance in three deciduous woody species

  • Yuko Yasumura
  • Yusuke Onoda
  • Kouki Hikosaka
  • Tadaki Hirose


Resorption of nitrogen (N) from senescing leaves is an important conservation mechanism that allows plants to use the same N repeatedly. We measured the extent of N resorption in plants co-occurring in a beech forest to examine the variability of N resorption, especially in relation to growth irradiance. Measurements were done in three deciduous woody species; one adult and several juvenile trees of Fagus crenata and several adult trees of Lindera umbellata and Magnolia salicifolia. N resorption efficiency (REFF; percentages of leaf N that is resorbed during leaf senescence) did not differ significantly among leaves under different growth irradiances in any species we studied. REFF was affected by the growth stage of the tree in F. crenata with the values being consistently lower in juvenile trees than in the adult tree. N resorption proficiency (RPROF; N concentration of dead leaves) converged to a similar value in F. crenata juvenile trees and M. salicifolia, irrespective of the presenescent leaf N concentration that was affected by growth irradiance. Again, RPROF was lower (i.e. absolute N concentration was higher) in juvenile trees than in the adult tree in F. crenata. These results suggest that the growth irradiance does not place a great impact on the extent of N resorption, but the growth stage of the tree is influential in some species. The difference between the adult and juvenile trees may be ascribed to the size of N sink tissues, which is likely to increase with plant age.


Adult tree Beech forest Juvenile tree Resorption efficiency Resorption proficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuko Yasumura
    • 1
  • Yusuke Onoda
    • 1
  • Kouki Hikosaka
    • 1
  • Tadaki Hirose
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversityAobaJapan

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