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Contrasting Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Leaf Photosynthesis and Respiration in Black Mangrove in North Florida

Abstract

Nutrient enrichment is a major driver of environmental change in mangrove ecosystems. Yet, nutrient enrichment impacts on physiological processes that regulate CO2 and water fluxes between mangrove vegetation and the atmosphere remain unclear. We measured peak growing season photosynthesis (A) and respiration (R) in black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) leaves that had been subjected to long-term (8-year) nutrient enrichment (added N, added P, control) in north Florida. Previous results from this site indicated that Avicennia productivity was N-limited, but not P-limited. Thus, we expected that N addition would increase light saturated net photosynthesis at ambient CO2 (Anet), intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), maximum rate of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax), and leaf dark respiration (R), while P addition would have little effect on any aspect of photosynthesis or respiration. We expected that increased photosynthesis and respiration would be most apparent immediately after N addition and in newly formed leaves. Indeed, Anet and Vcmax increased just after N addition in the N addition treatment; these increases were limited to leaves formed just after N addition. Nonetheless, over time, photosynthetic parameters and iWUE were similar across treatments. Interestingly, R measured at 25 °C increased with N addition; this effect was consistent across time points. P addition had little effect on R. Across treatments and time points, Vcmax,25 (Vcmax standardized to 25 °C) showed no relationship with R at 25 °C, but the maximum rate of electron transport for RuBP regeneration standardized to 25 °C (Jmax,25) increased with R at 25 °C. We conclude that N addition may have small, short-lived effects on photosynthetic processes, but sustained effects on leaf R in N-limited mangrove ecosystems.

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Data Availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available at https://github.com/Msturchio/WETFERT.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by NSF DEB 1655659 awarded to SKC. Support for MJA and JC were provided by USDA-NIFA award 2019-67013-29161, the University of North Florida, and Auburn University. Additional support for MAS was provided by the Garden Club of America Award in Coastal Wetlands Studies. The authors thank GTMNERR staff and volunteers for their support and assistance with this experiment.

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ICF, MAS, and MJA conceived and designed the experiment. MAS, JC, and MJA collected data. MAS, JC, and MJA led the data analysis with input from all authors. MAS and MJA wrote the manuscript with input from all authors.

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Correspondence to Matthew A. Sturchio.

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Communicated by Just Cebrian

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Sturchio, M.A., Chieppa, J., Simpson, L.T. et al. Contrasting Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Leaf Photosynthesis and Respiration in Black Mangrove in North Florida. Estuaries and Coasts (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-022-01120-7

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Keywords

  • Coastal wetlands
  • Avicennia germinans
  • Nutrient enrichment
  • Carbon cycle