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Responses of five woody species to burial by marly sediment: the role of biomass allocation pattern flexibility.

Authors
  • Burylo, M
  • Rey, F
  • Dutoit, Thomas
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Source
HAL-INSU
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Aims In eroded lands of the French Southern Alps , burial of early established seedlings under marly sediment weakens the effect of vegetation on soil stabilization and sediment trapping. Therefore , this protective role is largely dependent on species ' resistance to burial , and the understanding of species ' tolerance to this environmental disturbance is highly valuable for basic knowledge on plant succession and for ecological restoration purposes. Methods The response of five woody species with contrasting ecological requirements and natural habitats—three tree species , Pinus nigra , Robinia pseudoacacia and Acer campestre , and two shrubs , Ononis fruticosa and Hippophae rhamnoides—to experimental burial under marly sediment was studied. Seedlings were exposed to three burial levels : no burial (control) , partial burial (50% of seedling height) and complete burial (100% of seedling height). Burial tolerance was evaluated based on seedling survival , height and biomass. Biomass allocation to shoots and roots and soluble sugar and starch contents in roots and stems were measured to identify plant traits that determine species response to burial. Important Findings All species survived partial burial but only A. campestre seedlings emerged from complete burial. Tree species were more tolerant to burial and buried plants showed no significant differences with control . The two shrubs were found less tolerant and buried plants showed slower growth than controls. The results showed that species response was not related to initial soluble and starch content in roots and stems , but instead to biomass allocation pattern flexibility. Keywords : burial d sediment d marls d response to burial d plant traits

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