Effect of phosphorus availability on the selection of species with different ploidy levels and genome sizes in a long-term grassland fertilization experiment
Article first published online: 2 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust
Volume 200, Issue 3, pages 911–921, November 2013
How to Cite
Šmarda, P., Hejcman, M., Březinová, A., Horová, L., Steigerová, H., Zedek, F., Bureš, P., Hejcmanová, P. and Schellberg, J. (2013), Effect of phosphorus availability on the selection of species with different ploidy levels and genome sizes in a long-term grassland fertilization experiment. New Phytologist, 200: 911–921. doi: 10.1111/nph.12399
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 2 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 2013
- Czech Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: GACR P505/11/0881, GACR 505/12/1390
- German Research Foundation. Grant Number: SCHE 549/2-1
- DNA content;
- flow cytometry;
- nutrient limitation;
- plant primary CSR strategies;
- polyploid ecology;
- Rengen Grassland Experiment
- Polyploidy and increased genome size are hypothesized to increase organismal nutrient demands, namely of phosphorus (P), which is an essential and abundant component of nucleic acids. Therefore, polyploids and plants with larger genomes are expected to be selectively disadvantaged in P-limited environments. However, this hypothesis has yet to be experimentally tested.
- We measured the somatic DNA content and ploidy level in 74 vascular plant species in a long-term fertilization experiment. The differences between the fertilizer treatments regarding the DNA content and ploidy level of the established species were tested using phylogeny-based statistics.
- The percentage and biomass of polyploid species clearly increased with soil P in particular fertilizer treatments, and a similar but weaker trend was observed for the DNA content. These increases were associated with the dominance of competitive life strategy (particularly advantageous in the P-treated plots) in polyploids and the enhanced competitive ability of dominant polyploid grasses at high soil P concentrations, indicating their increased P limitation.
- Our results verify the hypothesized effect of P availability on the selection of polyploids and plants with increased genome sizes, although the relative contribution of increased P demands vs increased competitiveness as causes of the observed pattern requires further evaluation.