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Por favor, use este identificador para citar o enlazar a este item: http://hdl.handle.net/10261/16261

Bulk leaf δ18O and δ13C reflect the intensity of intraspecific competition for water in a semi-arid tussock grassland

AutorRamírez, D. A.; Querejeta Mercader, José Ignacio ; Bellot, J.
Palabras claveStipa tenacissima
δ 13C
δ 15N
δ 18O
Drought stress
Plant competition
Runoff redistribution
Fecha de publicación10-jun-2009
EditorJohn Wiley & Sons
CitaciónPlant, Cell & Environment (In press)
ResumenWe investigated the extent to which plant water and nutrient status are affected by intraspecific competition intensity and microsite quality in a monodominant tussock grassland. Leaf gas exchange and stable isotope measurements were used to assess the water relations of Stipa tenacissima tussocks growing along a gradient of plant cover and soil depth in a semi-arid catchment of Southeast Spain. Stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate decreased with increasing intensity of competition during the wet growing season, leading to foliar δ18O and δ13C enrichment. A high potential for runoff interception by upslope neighbours exerted strong detrimental effects on the water and phosphorus status of downslope S. tenacissima tussocks. Foliar δ15N values became more enriched with increasing soil depth. Multiple stepwise regression showed that competition potential and/or rhizosphere soil depth accounted for large proportions of variance in foliar δ13C, δ18O and δ15N among target tussocks (57, 37 and 64%, respectively). The results presented here highlight the key role that spatial redistribution of resources (water and nutrients) by runoff plays in semi-arid ecosystems. It is concluded that combined measurement of δ13C, δ18O and nutrient concentrations in bulk leaf tissue can provide insight into the intensity of competitive interactions occurring in natural plant communities.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2009.02002.x
ISSN1365-3040 (Online)
0140-7791 (Print)
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