Ionic balance and the constituent organic acids of current-year foliage of western redcedar, western hemlock, and Douglas-fir seedlings Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/05741v37m

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  • Western redcedar, western hemlock, and Douglas-fir seedlings were transplanted into pots in one of two soils representative of high and low levels of available NO3 (and total N). The soils were collected from sites at Cascade Head (Oregon Coast) and Wind River (Washington Cascades). Whole plant and component relative dry weight increments and N contents and the ionic balance of current-year foliage were determined after eight weeks in a growth chamber. The seedlings failed to respond to amendment of the soils with either 60 mg/kg (NH4)2SO4 or 15 ppm of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD). Western hemlock achieved the greatest relative dry matter increments in each of the soils and accumulated nearly twenty percent more N than the other two species despite initially smaller size. Carboxylate concentrations (C-A) in the current-year foliage of western redcedar, western hemlock, an Douglas-fir were distinct (715, 325, 220 meq/kg, respectively). No differences in C-A were observed within any of the species between soils suggesting that 1.) the form of N taken up from the soils did not differ, and/or 2.) cation nutrition exerted a strong influence on carboxylate generation. The low light level in the growth chamber (140 umol/m2sec) may have resulted in limited uptake of NO3 from the Cascade Head soil and inhibited its potential assimilation in the foliage, particularly by western redcedar. Quinic, shikimic and oxalic acids accounted for > 85% of the C-A of western hemlock and Douglas-fir, but only 15% of that for western redcedar. Oxalate was the primary constituent organic acid in western redcedar foliage. A considerable portion of C-A balance of redcedar may be associated with the accumulation of calcium carbonate. Possible ramifications of litterfall inputs of calcium carbonate in the regulation of chemical activity and especially N transformations in soils beneath western redcedar are discussed.
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