The relative importance of carbohydrate and nitrogen for the resprouting ability of Quercus crispula seedlings

  • Kabeya D
  • Sakai S
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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Plants need some kind of stored resources to resprout after shoot destruction. The aim of this study was to determine the relative importance of carbohydrate and nitrogen (N) storage levels for their ability to resprout. METHODS: A shoot clipping experiment was conducted on Quercus crispula seedlings, which were grown in a factorial experimental design, with two light levels (40% and 3% of full light) and three nutrient concentrations (low, medium and high). KEY RESULTS: At the time of shoot clipping (the end of spring leaf expansion), seedlings exposed to 40% light had an average total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) concentration of 17.0% in their roots compared with 4.9% in the roots of seedlings exposed to 3% light, and the average amount of TNC (TNC pools) in the roots was 203.8 mg and 20.0 mg at 40% light and 3% light, respectively. In contrast, root N concentration averaged 2.3% in the 3% light treatment compared with 1.2% in the 40% light treatment, and it increased with successive rises in nutrient concentrations at both light levels. Regardless of the nutrient status, at the 40% light level >80% of the seedlings resprouted after shoot clipping. Few seedlings, however, resprouted at the 3% light level, particularly in the medium- and high-nutrient treatments. Furthermore, both root TNC concentrations and TNC pools decreased after resprouting, but the amount of root N remained constant. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that carbohydrate storage has a stronger influence on resprouting in Quercus crispula than N storage. However, the size of the resprouting shoot was positively correlated with the amount of both N and TNC in roots. The level of N storage is, therefore, also important for the growth of resprouting shoots.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Carbohydrate
  • Light availability
  • Nitrogen
  • Nutrient availability
  • Quercus crispula
  • Resprouting
  • Seedling
  • Total non-structural carbohydrate

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  • Daisuke Kabeya

  • Satoki Sakai

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