Mapping nutrient resorption efficiencies of subarctic cryptogams and seed plants onto the Tree of Life

S.I. Lang, R. Aerts, R.S.P van Logtestijn, W. Schweikert, T. Klahn, H.M. Quested, J.R. van Hal, J.H.C. Cornelissen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Nutrient resorption from senescing photosynthetic organs is a powerful mechanism for conserving nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in infertile environments. Evolution has resulted in enhanced differentiation of conducting tissues to facilitate transport of photosynthate to other plant parts, ultimately leading to phloem. Such tissues may also serve to translocate N and P to other plant parts upon their senescence. Therefore, we hypothesize that nutrient resorption efficiency (RE, % of nutrient pool exported) should correspond with the degree of specialization of these conducting tissues across the autotrophic branches of the Tree of Life. To test this hypothesis, we had to compare members of different plant clades and lichens within a climatic region, to minimize confounding effects of climatic drivers on nutrient resorption. Thus, we compared RE among wide-ranging basal clades from the principally N-limited subarctic region, employing a novel method to correct for mass loss during senescence. Even with the limited numbers of species available for certain clades in this region, we found some consistent patterns. Mosses, lichens, and lycophytes generally showed low RE
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2217-2227
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume4
Issue number11
Early online date7 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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