Life history strategy influences biomass allocation in response to limiting nutrients and water in an arid system
Treść / Zawartość
The optimal partitioning theory (OPT) predicts that a plant should allocate relatively more biomass to the organs that acquire the most limiting resource. However, variation in biomass allocation among plant parts can also occur as a plant grows in size. As an alternative approach, allometric biomass partitioning theory (APT) asserts that plants should trade off their biomass between roots, stems and leaves, and this approach can minimize bias when comparing biomass allocation patterns by accounting for plant size in the analysis. We analyzed the biomass allocation strategy of the two species: annual Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv and perennial Pennisetum centrasiaticum Tzvel from the Horqin Sandy Land of northern China by treating them with different availabilities of soil nutrient and water (added in summer and winter), and hypothesized that the two species have different patterns of biomass allocation strategy in response to different soil water content and soil nitrogen content. After taking plant size into account, the biomass allocation strategy of S. viridis and P. centrasiaticum differed in response to nitrogen and water; leaves and root:shoot ratio (RTS) of S. viridis were “true” in response to various soil nitrogen contents. The plasticity of roots was also “true” in response to fluctuation in soil water content. However, P. centrasiaticum showed a different pattern with no shift of biomass allocation strategy in response to nitrogen and water. Adjustment in organs biomass allocation pattern of S. viridis in response to nitrogen and water limitation was dramatic, this suggested that S. viridis support optimal partitioning theory (OPT). P. centrasiaticum has better tolerance to varied environments and more likely support the allometric biomass partitioning theory (APT), this characteristic may allow P. centrasiaticum to keep dominance in fragile habitats.
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