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Root Foraging Precision of Pinus pumila (Pall.) Regel Subjected to Contrasting Light Spectra.

Authors
  • He, Chunxia1, 2
  • Gao, Jun1, 2
  • Zhao, Yan3
  • Liu, Jing3
  • 1 Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China. , (China)
  • 2 Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China. , (China)
  • 3 College of Horticulture and Plant Production, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang 471002, China. , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Plants
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Jul 19, 2021
Volume
10
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/plants10071482
PMID: 34371685
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Root foraging behavior in heterogeneous patterns of soil nutrients is not well understood for undergrowth in alpine forests, where light spectra may generate an interactive effect on root foraging precision. A dwarf alpine species, Pinus pumila (Pall.) Regel., was cultured in pots where nitrogen (N)-phosphorus (P)-potassium (K) nutritional granules (N-P2O5-K2O, 14-13-13) were added to both halves of an inner space at a rate of 67.5 mg N (homogeneous) or 135 mg N to a random half (heterogeneous). Potted seedlings were subjected to either a green-and-blue light spectrum with a red-to-green light ratio of 4.24 (15.3% red, 64.9% green, and 19.8% blue) or a red-light enriched spectrum (69.4% red, 30.2% green, and 0.4% blue) both at irradiations of 200.43 µmol m-2 s-1. The root foraging precision was assessed by the difference in the fine root morphology or weight between the two halves. The foraging precision was assessed by both fine root length and surface area and was promoted in seedlings subjected to the heterogeneous pattern in the red-light enriched spectrum. Seedlings subjected to the green-and-blue light spectrum showed lower shoot growth, biomass, and root morphology but had higher shoot and root N and P concentrations. The heterogenous pattern resulted in greater seedling growth and fine root morphology as well as N and P concentrations compared to the homogeneous pattern. We conclude that P. pumila has a strong ability to forage nutrients in heterogenous soil nutrients, which can be further promoted by a spectrum with higher red-light proportions.

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