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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: δ13C ; δ15N ; Nitrogen assimilation ; Forest decline ; Picea abies ; Stable isotopes
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary Natural carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were measured in different compartments (needles and twigs of different ages and crown positions, litter, understorey vegetation, roots and soils of different horizons) on 5 plots of a healthy and on 8 plots of a declining Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forest in the Fichtelgebirge (NE Bavaria, Germany), which has recently been described in detail (Oren et al. 1988a; Schulze et al. 1989). The δ13C values of needles did not differ between sites or change consistently with needle age, but did decrease from the sun-to the shade-crown. This result confirms earlier conclusions from gas exchange measurements that gaseous air pollutants did no long-lasting damage in an area where such damage was expected. Twigs (δ13C between-25.3 and-27.8‰) were significantly less depleted in 13C than needles (δ13C between-27.3 and-29.1‰), and δ13C in twigs increased consistently with age. The δ15N values of needles ranged between-2.5 and-4.1‰ and varied according to stand and age. In young needles δ15N decreased with needle age, but remained constant or increased in needles that were 2 or 3 years old. Needles from the healthy site were more depleted in 15N than those from the declining site. The difference between sites was greater in old needles than in young ones. This differentiation presumably reflects an earlier onset of nitrogen reallocation in needles of the declining stand. δ15N values in twigs were more negative than in needles (-3.5 to-5.2‰) and showed age- and stand-dependent trends that were similar to the needles. δ15N values of roots and soil samples increased at both stands with soil depth from-3.5 in the organic layer to +4‰ in the mineral soil. The δ15N values of roots from the mineral soil were different from those of twigs and needles. Roots from the shallower organic layer had values similar to twigs and needles. Thus, the bulk of the assimilated nitrogen was presumably taken up by the roots from the organic layer. The problem of separation of ammonium or nitrate use by roots from different soil horizons is discussed.
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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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