Nitrogen resorption from leaves under different growth irradiance in three deciduous woody species

Yuko Yasumura, Yusuke Onoda, Kouki Hikosaka, Tadaki Hirose

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Resorption of nitrogen (N) from senescing leaves is an important conservation mechanism that allows plants to use the same N repeatedly. We measured the extent of N resorption in plants co-occurring in a beech forest to examine the variability of N resorption, especially in relation to growth irradiance. Measurements were done in three deciduous woody species; one adult and several juvenile trees of Fagus crenata and several adult trees of Lindera umbellata and Magnolia salicifolia. N resorption efficiency (R EFF; percentages of leaf N that is resorbed during leaf senescence) did not differ significantly among leaves under different growth irradiances in any species we studied. R EFF was affected by the growth stage of the tree in F. crenata with the values being consistently lower in juvenile trees than in the adult tree. N resorption proficiency (R PROF; N concentration of dead leaves) converged to a similar value in F. crenata juvenile trees and M. salicifolia, irrespective of the presenescent leaf N concentration that was affected by growth irradiance. Again, R PROF was lower (i.e. absolute N concentration was higher) in juvenile trees than in the adult tree in F. crenata. These results suggest that the growth irradiance does not place a great impact on the extent of N resorption, but the growth stage of the tree is influential in some species. The difference between the adult and juvenile trees may be ascribed to the size of N sink tissues, which is likely to increase with plant age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar


  • Adult tree
  • Beech forest
  • Juvenile tree
  • Resorption efficiency
  • Resorption proficiency


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