Supplementary material from "Functional differences in seasonally absorbed nitrogen in a winter-green perennial herb"

Published on 2020-01-14T16:21:13Z (GMT) by
Nitrogen (N) uptake in response to its availability and effective N-use are important for determining plant fitness, as N is a major limiting resource and its availability changes both seasonally and annually. Storage organs such as bulbs are considered an adaptive trait with respect to plant N-use strategies. It is well known that N is remobilized from storage organs to satisfy the high demand for new growth that is not completely satisfied by external uptake alone. However, little is known about how this N absorbed during different seasons contributes to plant performance. By manipulating seasonal N availability in potted <i>Lycoris radiata</i> var. <i>radiata</i> (Amaryllidaceae), a winter-green perennial, we found that the N absorbed during different seasons had different effects on leaf growth and leaf N concentrations, effectively increasing the growth and survival of the plants. N absorbed during the summer (leafless period; N was thus stored in the bulb) enhanced plant growth by increasing leaf growth. Compared with the plants supplied with N during autumn (leaf flush period), the leafy plants also showed greater growth per unit leaf area despite the lower area-based photosynthetic capacity of the latter. By contrast, N absorbed during the autumn increased the leaf N concentration and thus the photosynthetic capacity, which was considered to enhance survival and growth of the plant during winter by reducing the potentially fatal risk caused by the absorption of photons under low temperature. Our findings have important implications for estimating plant responses to environmental changes. We predict that changes in seasonal N availability impact the performance of plants, even that of perennials that have large storage organs, via an altered relative investment of N into different functions.

Cite this collection

Nishitani, Satomi; Ishida, Atsushi; Nakamura, Toshie; Kachi, Naoki (2020): Supplementary material from "Functional differences in seasonally absorbed nitrogen in a winter-green perennial herb". The Royal Society. Collection.