Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 31:163 | Cite as

Growth and physiological responses of Picea asperata seedlings to elevated temperature and to nitrogen fertilization

Original Paper

Abstract

Picea asperata is a dominant species in the subalpine coniferous forests distributed in eastern edges of Tibetan Plateau and upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The paper mainly identified the short-term influences of experimental warming, nitrogen fertilization, and their combination on growth and physiological performances of Picea asperata seedlings. These seedlings were subjected to two levels of temperature (ambient; infrared heater warming) and two nitrogen levels (0; 25 g m−2 a−1 N) for 6 months. We used a free air temperature increase of overhead infrared heater to raise both air and soil temperature by 2.1 and 2.6°C, respectively. The temperature increment induced an obvious enhancement in biomass accumulation and the maximum net photosynthetic rate, and decreased AOS and MDA level under ambient nitrogen conditions. Whereas, negative effects of experimental warming on growth and physiology was observed under nitrogen fertilization condition. On the other hand, nitrogen fertilization significantly improved plant growth in unwarmed plots, by stimulating total biomass, maximum net photosynthetic rate (Amax), antioxidant compounds, as well as reducing the content of AOS and MDA. However, in warmed plots, nitrogen addition clearly decreased Amax, antioxidant compounds, and induced higher accumulation of AOS and MDA. Obviously, the beneficial effects of sole nitrogen on growth and physiology of Picea asperata seedlings could not be magnified by artificial warming.

Keywords

Picea asperata Warming Nitrogen Growth Physiological performance 

Abbreviations

AOS

Active oxygen species

APX

Ascorbate peroxidase

ASA

Ascorbic acid

CAT

Catalase

H2O2

Hydrogen peroxide

LMR

Leaf mass ratio

MDA

Malondialdehyde

MSI

Membrane stability index

O2

Superoxide radical

POD

Peroxidase

RMR

Root mass ratio

SMR

Stem mass ratio

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

UF

Unwarmed fertilized

UU

Unwarmed unfertilized

WF

Warmed fertilized

WU

Warmed unfertilized

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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation Center, Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic China

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