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Higher capability of C₃ than C₄ plants to use nitrogen inferred from nitrogen stable isotopes along an aridity gradient
Luo, Wentao (Zhongguo ke xue yuan. Erguna Forest-Steppe Ecotone Research Station)
Wang, Xiaoguang (Zhongguo ke xue yuan. Erguna Forest-Steppe Ecotone Research Station)
Sardans i Galobart, Jordi (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Wang, Zhengwen (Zhongguo ke xue yuan. Erguna Forest-Steppe Ecotone Research Station)
Dijkstra, Feike A. (The University of Sydney. Sydney Institute of Agriculture)
Lü, Xiao-Tao (Zhongguo ke xue yuan. Erguna Forest-Steppe Ecotone Research Station)
Peñuelas, Josep (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Han, Xingguo (Zhongguo ke xue yuan. Erguna Forest-Steppe Ecotone Research Station)

Date: 2018
Abstract: Background and aims: the nitrogen isotope composition (δ¹⁵N) of plants in arid and semiarid grasslands is affected by environmental factors, especially water availability. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether the response of δ¹⁵N to water availability differs between C₃ and C₄ photosynthetic pathways. - Methods: we investigated plant δ¹⁵N of coexisting C₃ and C4 species as a function of aridity along a 3200 km aridity gradient across the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. - Results: aridity was positively correlated with plant δ15N values in both C₃ and C₄ plants and also in the entire plant community, whereas soil bulk δ¹⁵N values increased first and then decreased along the aridity gradient. The N uptake by C₄ plants appeared to be more affected by competition pressure of neighboring plants and soil microbes than for C₃ plants along the transect. - Conclusions: the decoupled relationship between plant and soil δ15N values indicated that variations in vegetation and soil δ15N values were driven by differential biogeochemical processes, while different soil N sources were used for plant growth along the climatic gradient. The advantage of C₃ plants in the use of N may counteract the competitive advantage that C₄ plants have over C₃ plants due to their higher water use efficiency under drier conditions. These findings can help understand why C₄ plants do not completely replace C₃ plants in drier environments despite their higher water use efficiency.
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/FP7/610028
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/CGL2013-48074-P
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció SGR/2014-274
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; acceptedVersion
Subject: Competition ; Grassland transect ; Photosynthetic pathway ; Precipitation ; Trade-off
Published in: Plant and soil, Vol. 428, issue 1–2 (Jul. 2018) , p. 93–103, ISSN 0032-079X

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-018-3661-2


Available from: 2019-07-30
Post-print

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i d'Aplicacions Forestals) > Imbalance-P
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2018-09-24, last modified 2018-10-20



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