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Uptake of nitrogen forms by diploid and triploid white poplar depends on seasonal carbon use strategy and elevated summer ozone

Miaomiao Wang, Guolei Li, Zhaozhong Feng, Yong Liu, Yansen Xu, Mercedes Uscola

Abstract: The ability of plants to acquire soil nitrogen (N) sources is plastic in response to abiotic and biotic factors. However, information about how plant preferences among N forms changes in response to internal plant N demand through growth phases, or to environmental stress such as ozone (O3), is scarce. Diploid and triploid Chinese white poplar were used to investigate N form preferences at two key developmental periods (spring, summer) and in response to summer O3 (ambient, 60 ppb above ambient). We used stable isotopes to quantify NH4+, NO3− and glycine N-uptake rates. Carbon acquisition was recorded simultaneously. Both ploidy levels differed in growth, N form preferences, and N and C use strategies. Diploid white poplars grew faster in spring but slower in summer compared with triploids. Diploid white poplars also showed plasticity among N form preferences through the season, with no preferences in spring, and NO3− preferred in summer, while triploids showed an overall preference for NO3−. Carbon acquisition and NO3− uptake were inhibited in both ploidy levels of poplar at elevated O3, which also reduced diploid total N uptake. However, triploid white poplars alleviated N uptake reduction, switching to similar preferences among N forms. We conclude that N form preferences by white poplar are driven by internal C and N use in response to nutrient demands, and external factors such as O3.
Keywords: amino acids / ammonium / nitrate / N preferences / photosynthesis / relative growth rate

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