Plant δ15N correlates with the transpiration efficiency of nitrogen acquisition in tropical trees

Cernusak, Lucas A., Winter, Klaus, and Turner, Benjamin L. (2009) Plant δ15N correlates with the transpiration efficiency of nitrogen acquisition in tropical trees. Plant Physiology, 151 (3). pp. 1667-1676.

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Abstract

Based upon considerations of a theoretical model of 15N/14N fractionation during steady-state nitrate uptake from soil, we hypothesized that, for plants grown in a common soil environment, whole-plant δ15N (δP) should vary as a function of the transpiration efficiency of nitrogen acquisition (FN/v) and the difference between δP and root δ15N (δP − δR). We tested these hypotheses with measurements of several tropical tree and liana species. Consistent with theoretical expectations, both FN/v and δP − δR were significant sources of variation in δP, and the relationship between δP and FN/v differed between non-N2-fixing and N2-fixing species. We interpret the correlation between δP and FN/v as resulting from variation in mineral nitrogen efflux-to-influx ratios across plasma membranes of root cells. These results provide a simple explanation of variation in δ15N of terrestrial plants and have implications for understanding nitrogen cycling in ecosystems.

Item ID: 30296
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-2548
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2013 09:33
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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