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Nutrient input from hemiparasitic litter favors plant species with a fast-growth strategy

Andreas Demey (UGent) , Jeroen Staelens (UGent) , Lander Baeten (UGent) , Pascal Boeckx (UGent) , Martin Hermy (UGent) , Jens Kattge and Kris Verheyen (UGent)
(2013) PLANT AND SOIL. 371(1-2). p.53-66
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Abstract
Aims: Hemiparasitic plants often produce nutrient-rich litter with high decomposition rates, and thus can enhance nutrient availability. When plant species have differential affinities for this nutrient source, hemiparasitic litter might influence species composition in addition to the parasitic suppression of host species. We expected that species adapted to fertile habitats derive a higher proportion of nutrients from the hemiparasitic litter compared to other species. Methods: 15N-labeled litter of Rhinanthus angustifolius and Pedicularis sylvatica was added to experimental field plots and adjacent litter bags. We examined N release from the litter, N uptake by the vegetation 2, 4 and 12 months after litter addition and differences in the proportion of N taken up from the litter (NL) between co-occurring species. Results: The percentage of N in shoots of co-occurring plant species that is derived from the added hemiparasitic litter (NL) strongly differed between the species (0.1–6.2 %). After exclusion of species with an alternative N source (legumes as well as ectomycorrhizal and ericoid mycorrhizal species), NL was positively related (p < 0.001) with specific leaf area (SLA) and at Pedicularis sites with leaf N concentration (LNC) and leaf phosphorus concentration (LPC) (p < 0.05), i.e. leaf traits associated with a fast-growth strategy and adaptation to high-nutrient environments. Conclusions: Our results suggest that nutrient release from hemiparasitic litter favors plant species with a fast-growth strategy adapted to high-nutrient environments compared to species with a slow-growth strategy. Whether continued hemiparasitic litter inputs are able to change species composition in the long term requires further research.
Keywords
Nutrient cycling, Rhinanthus angustifolius, Leaf traits, TRY, 15N tracing, Litter addition, Semi-natural grassland, FERTILIZER APPLICATION, RHINANTHUS-ANGUSTIFOLIUS, FUNCTIONAL-ROLE, ROOT HEMIPARASITES, Pedicularis sylvatica, LEAF-AREA, NITROGEN AVAILABILITY, MINERAL NUTRIENTS, ECONOMICS SPECTRUM, DECOMPOSITION RATES, VEGETATION STRUCTURE

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Chicago
Demey, Andreas, Jeroen Staelens, Lander Baeten, Pascal Boeckx, Martin Hermy, Jens Kattge, and Kris Verheyen. 2013. “Nutrient Input from Hemiparasitic Litter Favors Plant Species with a Fast-growth Strategy.” Plant and Soil 371 (1-2): 53–66.
APA
Demey, Andreas, Staelens, J., Baeten, L., Boeckx, P., Hermy, M., Kattge, J., & Verheyen, K. (2013). Nutrient input from hemiparasitic litter favors plant species with a fast-growth strategy. PLANT AND SOIL, 371(1-2), 53–66.
Vancouver
1.
Demey A, Staelens J, Baeten L, Boeckx P, Hermy M, Kattge J, et al. Nutrient input from hemiparasitic litter favors plant species with a fast-growth strategy. PLANT AND SOIL. 2013;371(1-2):53–66.
MLA
Demey, Andreas, Jeroen Staelens, Lander Baeten, et al. “Nutrient Input from Hemiparasitic Litter Favors Plant Species with a Fast-growth Strategy.” PLANT AND SOIL 371.1-2 (2013): 53–66. Print.
@article{4092218,
  abstract     = {Aims: Hemiparasitic plants often produce nutrient-rich litter with high decomposition rates, and thus can enhance nutrient availability. When plant species have differential affinities for this nutrient source, hemiparasitic litter might influence species composition in addition to the parasitic suppression of host species. We expected that species adapted to fertile habitats derive a higher proportion of nutrients from the hemiparasitic litter compared to other species.
Methods: 15N-labeled litter of Rhinanthus angustifolius and Pedicularis sylvatica was added to experimental field plots and adjacent litter bags. We examined N release from the litter, N uptake by the vegetation 2, 4 and 12 months after litter addition and differences in the proportion of N taken up from the litter (NL) between co-occurring species.
Results: The percentage of N in shoots of co-occurring plant species that is derived from the added hemiparasitic litter (NL) strongly differed between the species (0.1--6.2 \%). After exclusion of species with an alternative N source (legumes as well as ectomycorrhizal and ericoid mycorrhizal species), NL was positively related (p\,{\textlangle}\,0.001) with specific leaf area (SLA) and at Pedicularis sites with leaf N concentration (LNC) and leaf phosphorus concentration (LPC) (p\,{\textlangle}\,0.05), i.e. leaf traits associated with a fast-growth strategy and adaptation to high-nutrient environments.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that nutrient release from hemiparasitic litter favors plant species with a fast-growth strategy adapted to high-nutrient environments compared to species with a slow-growth strategy. Whether continued hemiparasitic litter inputs are able to change species composition in the long term requires further research.},
  author       = {Demey, Andreas and Staelens, Jeroen and Baeten, Lander and Boeckx, Pascal and Hermy, Martin and Kattge, Jens and Verheyen, Kris},
  issn         = {0032-079X},
  journal      = {PLANT AND SOIL},
  keyword      = {Nutrient cycling,Rhinanthus angustifolius,Leaf traits,TRY,15N tracing,Litter addition,Semi-natural grassland,FERTILIZER APPLICATION,RHINANTHUS-ANGUSTIFOLIUS,FUNCTIONAL-ROLE,ROOT HEMIPARASITES,Pedicularis sylvatica,LEAF-AREA,NITROGEN AVAILABILITY,MINERAL NUTRIENTS,ECONOMICS SPECTRUM,DECOMPOSITION RATES,VEGETATION STRUCTURE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {53--66},
  title        = {Nutrient input from hemiparasitic litter favors plant species with a fast-growth strategy},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-013-1658-4},
  volume       = {371},
  year         = {2013},
}

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