Within-canopy gradients of nitrogen and photosynthetic activity of Eucalyptus nitens and Eucalyptus globulus in response to nitrogen nutrition
Close, DC and Battaglia, M and Davidson, NJ and Beadle, CL, Within-canopy gradients of nitrogen and photosynthetic activity of Eucalyptus nitens and Eucalyptus globulus in response to nitrogen nutrition, Australian Journal of Botany, 52, (1) pp. 133-140. ISSN 0067-1924 (2004) [Refereed Article]
Growth of plantation eucalypts responds strongly to applied nitrogen (N). Above-ground biomass accumulation, gas exchange and foliar N per unit leaf area (Narea) along vertical and lateral gradients within a canopy were assessed in Eucalyptus nitens (Deane & Maiden) Maiden cuttings in a glasshouse experiment (E. nitensglasshouse cuttings) and E. globulus Labill. saplings in a field trial (E. globulusfield saplings) under varying levels of applied N. A large range of maximum net photosynthesis (A max) and Narea was observed among different leaf-age classes (apical, expanding, mature and old) within vertical and lateral gradients in both E. nitensglasshouse cuttings and E. globulus field saplings. In both experiments, Narea was generally positively correlated with levels of applied N but Amax was not. There was generally no relationship between Amax and N area in either E. nitensglasshouse cuttings or E. globulusfield saplings, except in expanding and mature leaves within the vertical gradient of E. nitensglasshouse cuttings. These results contribute to the emerging consensus among workers that within species, poor correlation between Amax and Narea is often observed. Biomass data indicate that increased N application significantly increased growth in both experiments. Overall, the results of these experiments provide information that will further resolve the predictive strength of process-based models that describe growth of E. nitens and E. globulus in plantations.