Advertisement

Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 1481–1488 | Cite as

Effect of nitrogen levels on photosynthetic parameters, morphological and chemical characters of saplings and trees in a temperate forest

  • Jinwei Sun
  • Fuqi Yao
  • Jiabing Wu
  • Pingcang Zhang
  • Wensheng Xu
Original Paper
  • 133 Downloads

Abstract

Exploring the response differences of leaf physiology parameters to enhanced nitrogen deposition between saplings and trees is vital for predicting the variations of terrestrial ecosystem structure and function under future global climate change. In this study, the ecophysiological parameters of saplings and trees of Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr. were measured at different levels of nitrogen addition in a temperate forest. The results show that ecophysiological parameters maximum net photosynthetic rate (P max), apparent quantum efficiency (α), dark respiration (R d), light saturation point (L sp), photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE), specific leaf area (SLA) and stomatal conductance under saturated light intensity (G smax) were higher in saplings than in trees. These physiological parameters and not N leaf (leaf nitrogen content) led to relatively lower P max and R d in trees. For both saplings and trees, low and median nitrogen addition (23 and 46 kg ha−1a−1) resulted in significant increases in P max, R d, L sp, Chl, PNUE, SLA and G smax. These parameters tended to decline under high additions of nitrogen (69 kg ha−1a−1), whereas N leaf was always enhanced with increasing nitrogen. Variations in P max and R d with increasing nitrogen were attributed to variations in the strongly related parameters of, L sp, Chl, PNUE, SLA and G smax. Overall, the response sensitivity of physiological parameters to enhanced nitrogen levels was lower in trees compared with saplings.

Keywords

Physiology parameters Added nitrogen Saplings Trees Deciduous broadleaved species 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are deeply grateful to the staff of the National Forest Ecosystem Research Station of Changbai Mountain for their assistance in the maintenance of instruments and collection of field data.

References

  1. Ågren GI (1985) Limits to plant production. J Theor Biol 113(1):89–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amichev BY, Johnston M, Van Rees KC (2010) Hybrid poplar growth in bioenergy production systems: biomass prediction with a simple process-based model (3PG) Heidelberglaan. Biomass Bioenergy 34(5):687–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amrita Soyza FD (1996) Effects of plant size on photosynthesis and water relations in the desert shrub Prosopis glandulosa (Fabaceae). Am J Bot 83(1):95–105Google Scholar
  4. Ayub G, Smith RA, Tissue DT, Atkin OK (2011) Impacts of drought on leaf respiration in darkness and light in Eucalyptus saligna exposed to industrial-age atmospheric CO2 and growth temperature. New Phytol 190(4):1003–1018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bazzaz FA (1987) Experimental studies on the evolution of niche in successional plant populations. Cambridge University Press, Oxford, pp 245–272Google Scholar
  6. Bond B (2000) Age-related changes in photosynthesis of woody plants. Ann For Sci 5:349–352Google Scholar
  7. Bouma TJ, De Visser R, Janssen JHJA, De Kock MJ, Van Leeuwen PH, Lambers H (1994) Respiratory energy requirements and rate of protein turnover in vivo determined by the use of an inhibitor of protein synthesis and a probe to assess its effect. Physiol Plant 92(4):585–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown K, Thompson W, Weetman G (1996) Effects of N addition rates on the productivity of Picea sitchensis, Thuja plicata, and Tsuga heterophylla saplings. Trees 10(3):189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chandler J, Dale J (1995) Nitrogen deficiency and fertilization effects on needle growth and photosynthesis in Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Tree Physiol 15(12):813–817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chapin FS, Vitousek PM, Van Cleve KV (1986) The nature of nutrient limitation in plant communities. Am Nat 127(1):48–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen S, Bai Y, Zhang L, Han X (2005) Comparing physiological responses of two dominant grass species to nitrogen addition in Xilin River Basin of China. Environ Exp Bot 53(1):65–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dang QL, Margolis HA, Coyea MR, Sy M, Collatz GJ (1997) Regulation of branch-level gas exchange of boreal trees: roles of shoot water potential and vapor pressure difference. Tree Physiol 17:521–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Donovan LA, Ehleringer J (1991) Ecophysiological differences among juvenile and reproductive plants of several woody species. Oecologia 86:594–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Donovan LA, Ehleringer J (1992) Contrasting water-use patterns among size and life-history classes of a semi-arid shrub. Funct Ecol 6:482–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ehleringer JR, Field CB (1993) Scaling physiological processes: leaf to globe. Academic press, San Diego, p 388Google Scholar
  16. Evans J (1986) The relationship between carbon-dioxide-limited photosynthetic rate and ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate-carboxylase content in two nuclear-cytoplasm substitution lines of wheat, and the coordination of ribulose-bisphosphate-carboxylation and electron-transport capacities. Planta 167(3):351–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Evans JR (1989) Photosynthesis and nitrogen relationships in leaves of C3 plants. Oecologia 78(1):9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fleischer K, Rebel KT, van der Molen MK, Erisman JW, Wassen MJ, van Loon EE, Montagnani L, Gough CM, Herbst M, Janssens IA, Gianelle D, Dolman AJ (2013) The contribution of nitrogen deposition to the photosynthetic capacity of forests. Global Biogeochem Cycles 27(1):187–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fournier C, Andrieu B (1998) A 3D architectural and process-based model of maize development. Ann Bot Lond 81(2):233–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Galloway JN (1998) The global nitrogen cycle: changes and consequences. Environ Pollut 102(1):15–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Galloway JN, Dentener FJ, Capone DG, Boyer EW, Howarth RW, Seitzinger SP, Asener GP, Cleveland CC, Green PA, Holland EA, Karl DM, Michaels AF, Porter JH, Townsend AR, Vöosmarty CJ (2004) Nitrogen cycles: past, present, and future. Biogeochemistry 70(2):153–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gower ST, McMurtrie RE, Murty D (1996) Aboveground net primary production decline with stand age: potential causes. Trends Ecol Evol 11(9):378–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greenwood MS (1995) Juvenility and maturation in conifers: current concept. Tree Physiol 15:433–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guan DX, Wu JB, Zhao XS, Han SJ, Yu GR, Sun XM, Jin CJ (2006) CO2 fluxes over an old temperate mixed forest in northeastern China. Agric For Meteorol 137(3):138–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gunn S, Farrar J, Collis B, Nason M (1999) Specific leaf area in barley: individual leaves versus whole plants. New Phytol 143(1):45–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. He JS, Zhang QB, Bazzaz F (2005) Differential drought responses between saplings and adult trees in four co-occurring species of New England. Trees 19(4):442–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ishida A, Yazaki K, Lai Hoe A (2005) Ontogenetic transition of leaf physiology and anatomy from seedlings to mature trees of a rain forest pioneer tree, Macaranga gigantea. Tree Physiol 19(4):442–450Google Scholar
  28. Knops JM, Reinhart K (2000) Specific leaf area along a nitrogen fertilization gradient. Am Midl Nat 144(2):265–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kolb T, Fredericksen T, Steiner K, Skelly J (1997) Issues in scaling tree size and age responses to ozone: a review. Environ Pollut 98(2):195–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Körner C (2000) Biosphere responses to CO2 enrichment. Ecol Appl 10(6):1590–1619Google Scholar
  31. Long S, Baker N, Raines C (1993) Analysing the responses of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation to long-term elevation of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Plant Ecol 104–105(1):33–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maggs DH (1964) The distance from tree base to shoot origin as a factor in shoot and tree growth. J Hortic Sci Biotech 39(4):298–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Makino A, Osmond B (1991) Effects of nitrogen nutrition on nitrogen partitioning between chloroplasts and mitochondria in pea and wheat. Plant Physiol 96(2):355–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. May RM (1974) On the theory of niche overlap. Theor Popul Biol 5(3):297–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mediavilla S, Escudero A (2003) Mature trees versus seedlings: differences in leaf traits and gas exchange patterns in three co-occurring Mediteranean oaks. Ann For Sci 60(5):455–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miller PM, Eddleman LE, Miller JM (1995) Juniperus occidentalis juvenile foliage: advantages and disadvantages for a stress-toletant, invasive conifer. Can J For Res 25(3):470–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Minocha R, Stephanie L, Bauer GA, Berntson GM, Magill AH, Aber J, Bazzaz FA (2001) Nitrogen availability and net primary production in temperate forests: the role of leaf physiology, foliage turnover and canopy structure. http://abstracts.aspb.org/pb2001/public/P34/0093.html
  38. Morin X, Thuiller W (2009) Comparing niche-and process-based models to reduce prediction uncertainty in species range shifts under climate change. Ecology 90(5):1301–1313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nakaji T, Fukami M, Dokiya Y, Izuta T (2001) Effects of high nitrogen load on growth, photosynthesis and nutrient status of Cryptomeria japonica and Pinus densiflora seedlings. Trees 15(8):453–461Google Scholar
  40. Nakaji T, Takenaga S, Kuroha M, Izuta T (2002) Photosynthetic response of Pinus densiflora saplings to high nitrogen load. Environ Sci 9(4):269–282Google Scholar
  41. Niinemets Ü (1997) Distribution patterns of foliar carbon and nitrogen as affected by tree dimensions and relative light conditions in the canopy of Picea abies. Trees 11(3):144–154Google Scholar
  42. Niinemets Ü (2002) Stomatal conductance alone does not explain the decline in foliar photosynthetic rates with increasing tree age and size in Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris. Tree Physiol 22(8):515–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Norby RJ, Wullschleger SD, Gunderson CA, Johnson DW, Ceulemans R (1999) Tree responses to rising CO2 in field experiments: implications for the future forest. Plant, Cell Environ 22(6):683–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Palow DT, Nolting K, Kitajima K (2012) Functional trait divergence of juveniles and adults of nine Inga species with contrasting soil preferences in a tropical rain forest. Funct Ecol 26(5):1144–1152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reich PB, Walters MB, Ellsworth DS, Vose JM, Volin JC, Gresham C, Bowman WD (1998) Relationships of leaf dark respiration to leaf nitrogen, specific leaf area and leaf life-span: a test across biomes and functional groups. Oecologia 114(4):471–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Richardson AD, Berlyn GP (2002) Changes in foliar spectral reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence of four temperate species following branch cutting. Tree Physiol 22(7):449–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ripullone F, Grassi G, Lauteri M, Borghetti M (2003) Photosynthesis–nitrogen relationships: interpretation of different patterns between Pseudotsuga menziesii and Populus × euroamericana in a mini-stand experiment. Tree Physiol 23(2):137–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ryan MG, Yoder BJ (1997) Hydraulic limits to tree height and tree growth. Bioscience 47(4):235–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ryan MG, Binkley D, Fownes JH (1997) Age-related decline in forest productivity: pattern and process. Adv Ecol Res 27(08):213–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Samuelson L, Kelly J (1996) Carbon partitioning and allocation in northern red oak saplings and mature trees in response to ozone. Tree Physiol 16(10):853–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sandquist DR, Schuster WS, Donovan LA, Phillips SL, Ehleringer JR (1993) Differences in carbon isotope discrimination between saplings and adults of southwestern desert perennial plants. Southwest Nat 38(3):212–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schulze E-D, Kelliher FM, Korner C, Lloyd J, Leuning R (1994) Relationships among maximum stomatal conductance, ecosystem surface conductance, carbon assimilation rate, and plant nitrogen nutrition: a global ecology scaling exercise. Ann Rev Ecol Evol Syst 25(1):629–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stitt M (1996) Metabolic regulation of photosynthesis. In: Baker NR (ed) Photosynthesis and the Environment. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 151–190Google Scholar
  54. Sugiura D, Tateno M (2011) Optimal leaf-to-root ratio and leaf nitrogen content determined by light and nitrogen availabilities. PLoS ONE 6(7):e22236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Thomas SC, Ickes K (1995) Ontogenetic changes in leaf size in Malaysian rain forest trees. Biotropica 27(4):427–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thomas SC, Winner WE (2002) Photosynthetic differences between saplings and adult trees: an integration of field results by meta-analysis. Tree Physiol 22(2–3):117–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wang M, Shi S, Lin F, Hao ZQ, Jiang P, Dai GH (2012) Effects of soil water and nitrogen on growth and photosynthetic response of manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) saplings in northeastern China. PLoS ONE 7(2):e30754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Waring RH (1987) Characteristics of trees predisposed to die. Bioscience 37(8):569–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yoder B, Ryan M, Waring R, Schoettle A, Kaufmann M (1994) Evidence of reduced photosynthetic rates in old trees. For Sci 40(3):513–527Google Scholar
  60. Zimmerman MH (1983) Xylem structure and the ascent of sap. Science 222(4623):500–501Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinwei Sun
    • 1
  • Fuqi Yao
    • 1
  • Jiabing Wu
    • 2
  • Pingcang Zhang
    • 1
  • Wensheng Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Changjiang River Scientific Research InstituteWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations