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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Air pollution ; Acid rain ; Photosynthesis ; Nutrition ; Picea abies
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary Photosynthetic rates and nutrient contents of spruce needles were measured in a region with high levels of air pollution in NE Bavaria, Germany (FRG), and compared to spruce grown under clean air conditions at Craigieburn, in the South Island of New Zealand (NZ). The absolute rates of CO2 uptake, the slope of the CO2 response curve at 240 μl l−1 internal CO2 concentration, and the change of photosynthetic rates with needle age at ambient and saturated CO2 concentrations were virtually identical at both measuring sites. These results confirm an earlier conclusion, that there is no long-term effect of atmospheric pollutants directly on photosynthetic CO2 uptake rates with persistent exposure at the FRG site to high levels of anthropogenic air pollution. Photosynthetic capacity at saturating CO2 concentration was three times higher in the NZ spruce. Needles with high photosynthetic capacity in NZ had lower nitrogen and higher calcium concentrations per unit dry weight but higher concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium per unit leaf area, and twice the specific leaf weight.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Nitrogen isotope ratio ; Nutrition ; Insectivorous plants ; Drosera
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary Plants of Drosera species, neighbouring noncarnivorous plants, and arthropods on or near each Drosera sp. were collected at 11 contrasting habitat locations in SW Australia. At three of the sites clones of the rare glandless mutant form of D. erythrorhiza were collected alongside fully glandular counterparts. The δ 15N value (15N/14N natural isotope composition) of insect-free leaf and stem fractions was measured, and the data then used to estimate proportional dependence on insect N (%NdI) for the respective species and growth forms of Drosera. The data indicated lower %NdI values for rosette than for self-supporting erect or for climbing vine species. The latter two groups showed an average %NdI value close to 50%. The %NdI increased with length and biomass of climbing but not erect forms of Drosera. δ 15N values of stems were positively correlated with corresponding values for leaves of Drosera. Leaf material was on average significantly more 15N enriched than stems, possibly due to delayed transport of recent insect-derived N, or to discrimination against 15N in transfer from leaf to the rest of the plant. The comparison of δ 15N values of insects and arthropod prey, glandless and glandular plants of D. erythrorhiza indicated %NdI values of 14.3, 12.2 and 32.2 at the respective sites, while matching comparisons based on δ 15N of insect, reference plants and glandular plants proved less definitive, with only one site recording a positive %NdI (value of 10.4%) despite evidence at all sites of feeding on insects by the glandular plants. The use of the δ 15N technique for studying nutrition of carnivorous species and the ecological significance of insect feeding of different growth forms of Drosera growing in a large range of habitats is discussed.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Storage ; Accumulation ; Reserve formation ; Storage structure ; Biennial plants
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Four biennial species (Arctium tomentosum, Cirsium vulgare, Dipsacus sylvester and Daucus carota) which originate from habitats of different nutrient availability were investigated in a 2-year experiment in a twofactorial structured block design varying light (natural daylight versus shading) and fertilizer addition. The experiment was designed to study storage as reserve formation (competing with growth) or as accumulation (see Chapin et al. 1990). We show that (i) the previous definitions of storage excluded an important process, namely the formation of storage tissue. Depending on species, storage tissue and the filling process can be either a process of reserve formation, or a process of accumulation. (ii) In species representing low-resource habitats, the formation of a storage structure competes with other growth processes. Growth of storage tissue and filling with storage products is an accumulation process only in the high-resource plant Arctium tomentosum. We interpret the structural growth of low-resource plants in terms of the evolutionary history of these species, which have closely related woody species in the Mediterranean area. (iii) The use of storage products for early leaf growth determines the biomass development in the second season and the competitive ability of this species during growth with perennial species. (iv) The high-resource plant Arctium has higher biomass development under all conditions, i.e. plants of low-resource habitats are not superior under low-resource conditions. The main difference between high- and low-resource plants is that low-resource plants initiate flowering at a lower total plant internal pool size of available resources.
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