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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Drenovsky , Rebecca E [1], Wetherill, Christopher [2], Short, Thomas H [2].

Multi-year patterns in plant nutrient resorption from a global dataset.

Soil nutrient availability is a key factor limiting plant growth and fitness worldwide.  Although nutrient resorption (the recycling of nutrients from senescing tissues) is considered a key nutrient conservation trait, the controls over resorption remain elusive due to few multi-year, comprehensive studies.  Our overall objective was to assess patterns in nitrogen and phosphorus resorption using a global dataset representing 122 species from 49 families and all major biomes. All studies were conducted for at least two years, allowing us to investigate patterns of plasticity in this trait and to determine how proficient species were in this process.  Overall, complete resorption (i.e., highly proficient resorption) was more common for N than for P (40.5% versus 14.0% of species, respectively), but plants that obtained complete N resorption were also likely to reach complete P resorption (r = 0.21; t = 2.87; P = 0.005).  More proficient N resorption was correlated with low soil N availability (r = 0.87; t = 13.95; P < 0.001), but surprisingly, more proficient P resorption was not correlated with low soil P availability (r = 0.07; t = 0.59; P = 0.558).  Greater variability in N resorption proficiency among years was correlated with greater variability in P resorption proficiency among years (r = 0.23; t = 2.57; P = 0.011), but, overall, P resorption proficiency was more variable among years than N resorption proficiency (N resorption proficiency mean CV= 0.19 ± 0.13 S.D.; P resorption proficiency mean CV=0.27 ± 0.20 S.D.; t = -3.95; P < 0.001).  These data indicate that resorption is highly plastic among years, limiting a species’ ability to achieve its maximum potential resorption.  Both the potential for resorption, as well as its plasticity, have large implications for overall plant nutrient budgets as well as biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus at local and global scales.  Identifying the drivers of these resorption patterns will be the next step in our analysis, in which we will seek to link plasticity in these processes to environmental factors such as climate and soil type. 

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1 - John Carroll University, Biology Department, 1 John Carroll Blvd, University Heights, OH, 44118, USA
2 - John Carroll University, Mathematics and Computer Science, 1 John Carroll Blvd, University Heights, OH, 44118, USA

nutrient conservation
plant nutrient budgets
Phenotypic plasticity.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC022
Abstract ID:250
Candidate for Awards:None

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