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Allocation of biomass and mineral elements in Melilotus segetalis (annual sweetclover): effects of NaCl salinity and plant age

AuthorsRomero Romero, José Mª; Marañón, Teodoro
Melilotus segetalis (annual sweetclover)
Nutrient acquisition
Issue DateApr-1996
CitationNew Phytologist 132(4): 565-573 (1996)
AbstractThe allocation of biomass and mineral elements (Na, K, Ca, P, N, Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn) during the ontogenetic cycle of annual sweetclover (Melilotus segetalis (Brot.) Ser.) growing under favourable and saline conditions has been studied. Plants were grown in a glasshouse, in pots with siliceous substrate and watered with Hoagland solution. Half were salinized by adding 170 mol m-3 NaCl (15 dS m-1) to the solution. Eleven harvests at 15 d intervals measured the dry weight distribution within the plant and the mineral composition. Allocation relative to biomass (ARB) in each plant organ, both under favourable and salt-stress conditions, was calculated for each mineral element. Biomass and mineral elements were allocated independently within M. segetalis, and the general pattern changed with age and was affected by salinity. Salt-stressed plants were smaller and invested proportionately more biomass in leaves. Na was accumulated in roots of young plants and excluded from leaves and fruits, whereas K was depleted from roots and accumulated in leaves and fruits. Immobile Ca accumulated in leaves, with age. Phloem-mobile P and N were translocated to flowers and fruits. Fe, Cu and Zn were diluted in leaves and not affected by salt, whereas Mn concentration increased with age and salinity. The switch to reproduction and increased demand for nutrients induced drastic changes in the allocation pattern of mineral elements. Salinity induced a re-allocation of biomass and mineral elements in all plant organs except the reproductive structures, as part of a whole-plant response to minimize salt toxic effects, to achieve osmotic adjustment, to preserve the reproductive output, and to compensate nutrient imbalance.
Description9 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables, 26 references.
Publisher version (URL)http://www.jstor.org/stable/2558876?seq=1
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Artículos
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