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Nitrogen to phosphorus ratio of plant biomass versus soil solution in a tropical pioneer tree, Ficus insipida

Garrish, Valerie, Cernusak, Lucas A., Winter, Klaus and Turner, Benjamin L. (2010). Nitrogen to phosphorus ratio of plant biomass versus soil solution in a tropical pioneer tree, Ficus insipida. Journal of Experimental Botany,61(13):3735-3748.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Nitrogen to phosphorus ratio of plant biomass versus soil solution in a tropical pioneer tree, Ficus insipida
Author Garrish, Valerie
Cernusak, Lucas A.
Winter, Klaus
Turner, Benjamin L.
Journal Name Journal of Experimental Botany
Publication Date 2010
Volume Number 61
Issue Number 13
ISSN 0022-0957   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-77955875747
Start Page 3735
End Page 3748
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Field of Research 0607 - Plant Biology
Abstract It is commonly assumed that the nitrogen to phosphorus (N:P) ratio of a terrestrial plant reflects the relative availability of N and P in the soil in which the plant grows. Here, this was assessed for a tropical pioneer tree, Ficus insipida. Seedlings were grown in sand and irrigated with nutrient solutions containing N:P ratios ranging from <1 to >100. The experimental design further allowed investigation of physiological responses to N and P availability. Homeostatic control over N:P ratios was stronger in leaves than in stems or roots, suggesting that N:P ratios of stems and roots are more sensitive indicators of the relative availability of N and P at a site than N:P ratios of leaves. The leaf N:P ratio at which the largest plant dry mass and highest photosynthetic rates were achieved was ∼11, whereas the corresponding whole-plant N:P ratio was ∼6. Plant P concentration varied as a function of transpiration rate at constant nutrient solution P concentration, possibly due to transpiration-induced variation in the mass flow of P to root surfaces. The transpiration rate varied in response to nutrient solution N concentration, but not to nutrient solution P concentration, demonstrating nutritional control over transpiration by N but not P. Water-use efficiency varied as a function of N availability, but not as a function of P availability.
Keywords Carbon isotope ratio
N:P ratio
nutrient supply
transpiration
tropical tree
water-use efficiency
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erq183   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 17:32:48 CST by Anthony Hornby