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Nitrogen nutrition and isotope differences among life forms at the northern treeline of Alaska

Title data

Schulze, Ernst-Detlef ; Chapin III, F. S. ; Gebauer, Gerhard:
Nitrogen nutrition and isotope differences among life forms at the northern treeline of Alaska.
In: Oecologia. Vol. 100 (1994) Issue 4 . - pp. 406-412.
ISSN 1432-1939
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00317862

Abstract in another language

Natural abundances of nitrogen isotopes, delta15N, indicate that, in the same habitat, Alaskan Picea glauca and P. mariana use a different soil nitrogen compartment from the evergreen shrub Vaccinium vitis-idaea or the deciduous grass Calamagrostis canadensis. The very low delta15N values (-7.7 o/oo) suggest that (1) Picea mainly uses inorganic nitrogen (probably mainly ammonium) or organic N in fresh litter, (2) Vaccinium (-4.3 o/oo) with its ericoid mycorrhizae uses more stable organic matter, and (3) Calamagrostis (+0.9 o/oo) exploits deeper soil horizons with higher delta15N values of soil N. We conclude that species limited by the same nutrient may coexist by drawing on different pools of soil N in a nutrient-deficient environment. The differences among life-forms decrease with increasing N availability. The different levels of delta15N are associated with different nitrogen concentrations in leaves, Picea having a lower N concentration (0.62 mmol g-1) than Vaccinium (0.98 mmol g-1) or Calamagrostis (1.33 mmol g-1). An extended vector analysis by Timmer and Armstrong (1987) suggests that N is the most limiting element for Picea in this habitat, causing needle yellowing at N concentrations below 0.5 mmol g-1 or N contents below 2 mmol needle-1. Increasing N supply had an exponential effect on twig and needle growth. Phosphorus, potassium and magnesium are at marginal supply, but not interaction between ammonium supply and needle Mg concentration could be detected. Calcium is in adequate supply on both calcareous and acidic soils. The results are compared with European conditions of excessive N supply from anthropogenic N depositions.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER6739
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 07:44
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2015 07:44
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/22443