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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01542

Essential nutrient and trace element foliar resorption of two co- existing Nothofagus species grown under different environmental conditions in southern Patagonia

 Hector Alejandro Bahamonde1*,  Victoria Fernandez2*,  Javier Gyenge1, Francisco Mattenet1 and Pablo L. Peri1
  • 1National Institute of Agricultural Technology (Argentina), Argentina
  • 2Plant Physiology and Anatomy Unit, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain

Nutrient resorption is crucial for mineral element conservation and efficiency of forest species, but knowledge on its significance and the mechanisms involved is still limited for most species and habitats. Focussing on the harsh conditions for plant growth and survival of southern Patagonia, a field study for comparing the rate of foliar resorption of macro-, micro-nutrients and trace elements in coexisting Nothofagus pumilio and Nothofagus antarctica forests was performed. For comparison, forests located in three contrasting productivity sites (with different soil and climatic conditions) were selected, and mature, functional versus senescent leaves of both species were collected at two different dates of the growing season. Macro- (C, N, P, Ca, K, S and Mg), micro–nutrients (B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn and Ni) and trace elements (Al, Li, Pb, Rb, Sr, Ti and Tl) were determined in foliar tissues. The mineral element concentrations of mature and senescent leaves were used for calculating the nutrient resorption efficiency (NuR). In general, and making an average of all sites and species, macro-nutrient resorption showed a decreasing trend for N > S = K > P > Mg, being Ca the only macro-nutrient with negative values (i.e., no resorption). Resorption of the majority of the elements did not vary between species in any of the evaluated sites. Variation in nutrient resorption efficiency for most macronutrients, some micronutrients and trace elements was observed for N. antarctica, whereas N. pumilio had a similar NuR for all experimental sites. On the other hand, regardless of the site or the species, some elements were not resorbed (e.g., Fe). It is concluded that both Nothofagus species performed similarly concerning their nutrient conservation strategy, when coexisting in the same mixed forest. However, no evidence was gained for an increased rate of foliar NuR in association with the sites subjected to more limiting soil and climatic conditions for plant growth.

Keywords: Patagonian Nothofagus, Deciduous trees, Mineral nutrition, Native forest, nutrient cycling

Received: 09 Sep 2019; Accepted: 05 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Bahamonde, Fernandez, Gyenge, Mattenet and Peri. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Mx. Hector Alejandro Bahamonde, National Institute of Agricultural Technology (Argentina), Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, hectorbh3@gmail.com
Dr. Victoria Fernandez, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Plant Physiology and Anatomy Unit, Madrid, 28040, Spain, v.fernandez@upm.es