Physiologia Plantarum, December 1997, Vol.101(4), pp.764-769
In numerous locations in Europe spruce trees are exposed to high loads of nitrogen. The present study was performed to characterize the distribution of nitrogen compounds under these conditions. For this purpose Norway spruce ( [L.] Karst.) trees were cultivated under close‐to‐natural conditions of a forest understory in soil from an apparently nitrogen‐limited field site in the Black Forest either with, or without supplementation of nitrogen as ammonium nitrate. After 11 and 20 months, growth, total nitrogen contents of the biomass, and total soluble non‐proteinogenic nitrogen compounds (TSNN, i.e. nitrate, ammonium, soluble proteinogenic and non‐proteinogenic amino compounds) in needles, xylem sap and phloem exudate were analysed. After 20 months of growth, N‐fertilization had slightly enhanced the biomass of current‐, but not of 1‐year‐old shoots. At both harvests, total N‐content of 1‐year‐old needles was increased by N‐fertilization, whereas current‐year needles were not significantly affected. By contrast, TSNN was elevated by N‐fertilization in both current‐year and 1‐year‐old needles. The increase in TSNN was mainly attributed to an accumulation of arginine. Xylem sap analysis showed that the increase in TSNN of the needles was a consequence of enhanced nitrogen assimilation of the roots rather than the shoot. Since also TSNN in phloem exudates was enhanced, it appears that N‐fertilization elevates the cycling pool of amino compounds in young Norway spruce trees. However, this pool seems to be subject to metabolic interconversion, since mainly glutamine and aspartate are transported in the xylem from the roots to the shoot, but arginine accumulated in the needles and the phloem.
Arginine ; Aspartate ; Glutamine ; Nitrogen Cycling ; Nitrogen Supply ; Phloem Exudate ; Picea Abies ; Spruce ; Xylem Sap