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Sex-specific carbon and nitrogen partitioning under N deposition
Lianghua Chen; Tingfa Dong; Baoli Duan
Corresponding AuthorBaoli Duan
Source PublicationTrees

In our study, Populus cathayana as a model species is employed to detect the sex-specific responses in growth, photosynthetic nitrogen (N) use efficiency (PNUE), carbon (C) and N partitioning when exposed to 0, 7.5 and 15 g N m−2 year−1 on the basis of local N deposition level. Our results showed that females had higher responses in photosynthesis and growth than males when exposed to N deposition, and also exhibited higher PNUE than males when exposed to high level of N deposition, suggesting that plasticity in the females may enhance the capacity of young seedlings to acquire resources. Moreover, we found that females mainly allocated increased N to soluble proteins and detergent-soluble proteins, but not to cell-wall proteins, while males maintained original partitioning pattern of N and also accumulated excessive N in the form of free amino acids. Females also allocated more fraction of leaf N to carboxylation (P C), bioenergetics (P B), and then more fraction of leaf N to all components of photosynthetic machinery (P T) than males under high level of N deposition. Such sex-specific N allocation strategy may correlate with sex-related PNUE. These results indicated that there is a higher critical N demand in females, and females could use N nutrient more efficiently than males under high N deposition. We also found that higher shift from starch to soluble sugars, such as sucrose, occurred in females than in males under N enrichment. By contrast, excessive accumulation of starch and non-structural carbohydrate in females relative to males was observed under control conditions, which might inhibit female photosynthesis rate. Accordingly, we suggested that the different leaf C and N partitioning patterns could explain the sex-specific responses in growth. Therefore, females may obtain advantageous position in the process of intraspecific competition when exposed to high level of N deposition because they have higher light capture (total leaf area) ability and utilization efficiency (PNUE) than the males that confer the ability for fast growth and thus are likely to be more responsive to N enrichment. Our results suggested that it could be important to look at the stronger growth response of the females over the males under N enrichment at both the leaf and the plant scale.

KeywordDioecy Nutrient Use Efficiency Nitrogen
DOIDOI 10.1007/s00468-014-0992-3
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GB/T 7714
Lianghua Chen,Tingfa Dong,Baoli Duan. Sex-specific carbon and nitrogen partitioning under N deposition[J]. Trees,2014,28(3):793–806.
APA Lianghua Chen,Tingfa Dong,&Baoli Duan.(2014).Sex-specific carbon and nitrogen partitioning under N deposition.Trees,28(3),793–806.
MLA Lianghua Chen,et al."Sex-specific carbon and nitrogen partitioning under N deposition".Trees 28.3(2014):793–806.
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