Interaction of nitrogen nutrition and salinity in Grey poplar (Populus tremula × alba)

Authors

  • B. EHLTING,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Forstbotanik und Baumphysiologie, Professur für Baumphysiologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 053/054, 79110 Freiburg, Germany,
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  • P. DLUZNIEWSKA,

    1. Institut für Forstbotanik und Baumphysiologie, Professur für Baumphysiologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 053/054, 79110 Freiburg, Germany,
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  • H. DIETRICH,

    1. Institut für Forstbotanik und Baumphysiologie, Professur für Baumphysiologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 053/054, 79110 Freiburg, Germany,
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  • A. SELLE,

    1. Physiologische Ökologie der Pflanzen, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany and
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  • M. TEUBER,

    1. Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
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  • R. HÄNSCH,

    1. Institut für Pflanzenbiologie, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Humboldtstr. 1, 38023 Braunschweig, Germany,
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  • U. NEHLS,

    1. Physiologische Ökologie der Pflanzen, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany and
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  • A. POLLE,

    1. Forstbotanisches Institut, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 2, 37077 Göttingen, Germany,
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  • J.-P. SCHNITZLER,

    1. Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
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  • H. RENNENBERG,

    1. Institut für Forstbotanik und Baumphysiologie, Professur für Baumphysiologie, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 053/054, 79110 Freiburg, Germany,
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  • A. GESSLER

    1. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Centre de Recherche de Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France,
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B. Ehlting. Fax: +49 7612038302; e-mail: barbara.ehlting@ctp.uni-freiburg.de

ABSTRACT

Salinity represents an increasing environmental problem in managed ecosystems. Populus spp. is widely used for wood production by short-rotation forestry in fertilized plantations and can be grown on saline soil. Because N fertilization plays an important role in salt tolerance, we analysed Grey poplar (Populus tremula × alba, syn. Populus canescens) grown with either 1 mM nitrate or ammonium subjected to moderate 75 mM NaCl. The impact of N nutrition on amelioration of salt tolerance was analysed on different levels of N metabolism such as N uptake, assimilation and N (total N, proteins and amino compounds) accumulation. Na concentration increased in all tissues over time of salt exposure. The N nutrition-dependent effects of salt exposure were more intensive in roots than in leaves. Application of salt reduced root increment as well as stem height increase and, at the same time, increased the concentration of total amino compounds more intensively in roots of ammonium-fed plants. In leaves, salt treatment increased concentrations of total N more intensively in nitrate-fed plants and concentrations of amino compounds independently of N nutrition. The major changes in N metabolism of Grey poplar exposed to moderate salt concentrations were detected in the significant increase of amino acid concentrations. The present results indicate that N metabolism of Grey poplar exposed to salt performed better when the plants were fed with nitrate instead of ammonium as sole N source. Therefore, nitrate fertilization of poplar plantations grown on saline soil should be preferred.

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