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Fast replenishment of initial carbon stores after defoliation by the pine processionary moth and its relationship to the re-growth ability of trees

AuthorsPalacio, Sara ; Hernández, Rodolfo; Camarero, Jesús Julio ; Maestro Martínez, Melchor
KeywordsPinus nigra
Thaumetopoea pityocampa
Insect herbivory
Non-structural carbohydrate
Storage allocation
Issue Date4-Jun-2012
CitationTrees - Structure and Function 26 (5): 1627-1640 (2012)
Abstract[EN] Defoliation by herbivores may alter the source:sink balance of trees leading to transient decreases in carbon (C) stores. When C stores are replenished concurrently with re-growth both processes may compete, store formation proceeding at the expenses of growth. However, the interactions between both processes are not fully understood. We investigated the effects of defoliation by the pine processionary moth (PPM, Thaumetopoea pityocampa Dennis and Schiff.) on the non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and nitrogen (N) stores and the growth of Pinus nigra Arnold trees. Short-term effects were evaluated immediately after a PPM outbreak and at the end of the first growing season in trees suffering a range of defoliation damage. Long-term effects were explored by a 17-year-long PPM defoliation experiment, with 11 years of repeated defoliation treatments followed by 6 years of recovery. Defoliation by PPM was followed by transient NSC decreases, but trees were able to exceed initial NSC pools and compensate growth in just one growing season. Such recovery was linked to increased foliage N. Repeated severe defoliations decreased growth and survival of trees in the long-term, but trees increased starch allocation to stems. Defoliation led to an accumulation of C storage compounds in P. nigra trees irrespective of their ability to re-grow. In trees included in the short-term experiment, the accumulation of stores proceeded concurrently with re-growth. However, the repeated severe defoliations included in our long-term experiment impaired the growth of trees, surplus C being accumulated as stores. These results indicate that, growth declines in pines defoliated by PPM are not due to C (source) limitation but may respond to the reduced sink strength of growing meristems due to defoliation, and thus, a decrease in C allocation to growth.
Description32 páginas, 4 figuras, 5 tablas.- The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00468-012-0739-y
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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