Canadian Forest Service Publications

Physiological and morphological responses to nitrogen limitation in jack pine seedlings: potential implications for drought tolerance. 1997. Tan, W.; Hogan, G.D. New Forests 14: 19-31.

Year: 1997

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25403

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The morphological and physiological responses to nitrogen (N) limitation in jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) seedlings were studied following the initiation of four different dynamic N treatments for six and 15 weeks. The N treatments produced needle N concentrations from 11 to 31 mg g^-1 dry weight, and seven-fold difference in dry weight at 15 weeks. Low-N jack pine seedlings: 1) had an higher root/shoot ratio; 2) extended their tap root more rapidly; 3) were better able to maintain turgor when shoot water potential declined; and 4) had a larger dry weight fraction and apoplasmic fraction than seedlings with higher foliar N concentrations. These responses may contribute collectively to enhance drought tolerance in N-limited plants, thereby affecting seedling quality. Modifying nursery fertilization regimes, other than optimal as usually applied, may thus be needed to produce stock for use on particularly droughty sites. Knowledge of the nature of drought at a particular site could be an important consideration when making decisions related to fertilization.