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Light and nutrient effects on growth and allocation of Inga vera (Leguminosae), a successional tree of Puerto Rico

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Abstract:

With the aim of acquiring a better understanding of ecological growth and biomass allocation of Neo tropical trees, I inoculated Inga vera Willd. (Leguminosae) plants from cuttings with Rhizobium spp. and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and grew them in a greenhouse for 8 months under varying light (L), phosphorus (P), and nitrogen (N) treatments. I obtained the following results: (1) L, P × N, and L × P × N treatments affected every response variable, but most increases occurred under full light; that is, light levels influenced growth of Inga vera to a greater extent than did P and N additions by themselves; (2) response variables showed a high degree of similarity in regard to which combination of treatment levels had the greatest positive response (full light – low N – high P) and which combination led to other significant increases (full light – low N – no P, full light – high N – no P); and (3) percent AM colonization was affected mainly by light, not P levels. I conclude that growth responses of Inga vera are primarily controlled by light availability, which can interact with nutrient addition to affect biomass allocation to both above- and below-ground structures.

Dans le but de mieux comprendre l'écologie de l'allocation à la croissance et à la production de biomasse chez les arbres néotropicaux, des plants d'Inga vera Willd. (légumineuse) issus de boutures ont été inoculés avec Rhizobium spp. et des champignons mycorhiziens à arbuscules. Les plants ont été cultivés en serre pendant huit mois et soumis à différents niveaux de lumière (L), de phosphore (P) et d'azote (N). Les traitements L, P × N et L × P × N ont affecté toutes les variables dépendantes mais la pleine lumière a eu le plus d'effet; c'est-à-dire que les différentes intensités de lumière ont davantage influencé la croissance d'I. vera que l'ajout de P ou de N seulement. Les variables dépendantes ont démontré un fort degré de similitude quant à la combinaison de traitements qui a produit la plus forte réponse positive (pleine lumière – faible N – P élevé) et celles qui ont produit d'autres augmentations significatives (pleine lumière – faible N – aucun P, pleine lumière – N élevé – aucun P). Le pourcentage de colonisation par les champignons mycorhiziens a surtout été affecté par les différents niveaux de lumière mais les différents niveaux de P n'ont eu aucun effet. Les résultats indiquent que la croissance d'I. vera est surtout contrôlée par la disponibilité de la lumière qui interagit avec l'ajout de nutriments pour affecter l'allocation de biomasse vers les parties aériennes et souterraines.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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