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Climent J.,Cifor Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Climent J.,Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute UVa INIA | Chambel M.R.,Cifor Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria Y Alimentaria Inia | Chambel M.R.,Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute UVa INIA | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2011

Rooting space is considered as a resource in plants, but comparative studies on the biomass allocation plasticity in response to rooting volume (RV) are rare. We compared responses in growth, biomass allocation and ontogenetic heteroblasty in nine hard pine species of contrasted ecology. Seedlings were cultivated in containers of 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.8 and 7 L for two growing seasons (425 days). Reduction in RV caused a reduction in plant absolute and relative growth rate and biomass allocated to stems but it increased biomass allocated to roots. RV affected to a lesser extent and in a less consistent direction allocation to leaves. Species that grew faster (higher relative growth rate) had a steeper decrease in growth with the reduction in RV. Ontogenetic heteroblasty, evaluated as the proportion of secondary needles in the needle biomass, showed highly different plasticity patterns in response to RV. Decrease in RV caused negligible or no change either in the most ontogenetically delayed Mediterranean pines or in the most ontogenetically advanced pines, the mesic Pinus sylvestris and P. uncinata. By contrast, ontogenetically intermediate species showed steep reaction norms in response to reduction in RV. While P. pinaster and P. brutia showed marked rejuvenation, P. nigra accelerated the development of adult foliage. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

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