Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (273 KB)

Title: Using 13C and 15N isotopes to study allocation patterns in oak seedlings

Author: Suz, Laura M.; Albarracín, María V.; Bledsoe, Caroline S.;

Date: 2008

Source: In: Merenlender, Adina; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. eds. 2008. Proceedings of the sixth California oak symposium: today's challenges, tomorrow's opportunities. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-217. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: pp. 117-130

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: In California’s oak woodlands, survival and growth of oaks may depend on a symbiosis between oak roots and fungi that form ectomycorrhizas. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are major players in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) utilization and cycling because they facilitate water and nutrient uptake from the soil into the plant. The ECM fungi also benefit because plants supply carbohydrates to their fungal partners. Little is known about the stoichiometry of N and C exchange within ECM plants. It is not known whether N uptake and transfer from ECM fungi to their plant host is related to C flow from host to ECM fungi. We considered several questions. Do plants "reward" those ECM fungal species that supply more N to the plant by providing more C to these ECM species? Are N and C transfers linked? Are ECM roots that take up more N from soils greater sinks for C? What are the longterm and short-term transfers of N and C, as measured by natural abundance (long-term) and tracer studies (short-term)? The natural abundance (background levels) of 15N and 13C in oak seedlings sheds light on what are the N sources for oaks, and how oaks allocate C over the long term (years to decades). Tracer data shed light on short-term processes of N and C allocation in oaks. In this study, we explored these questions by tracking C and N transfers within ECM blue oak seedlings of Quercus douglasii Hook&Arn. First, we determined the natural abundance (background) of N and C in control seedlings. N natural abundance was higher in ECM roots than in other tissues, while C natural abundance was higher in leaves than in other tissues. We traced C transfer from oak shoots into oak ECM roots, as well as N transfer from soil into oak ECM roots and into oak shoots. Our results suggest that both leaves and ECM tips were strong sinks for C and N. The stoichiometry of N and C into and out of ECM roots can help us understand how ECM fungi affect C allocation within oaks and how oaks respond to N supply from ECM roots.

Keywords: blue oak, carbon allocation, nitrogen uptake, stable isotopes, stoichiometry

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Suz, Laura M.; Albarracín, María V.; Bledsoe, Caroline S. 2008. Using 13C and 15N isotopes to study allocation patterns in oak seedlings. In: Merenlender, Adina; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. eds. 2008. Proceedings of the sixth California oak symposium: today's challenges, tomorrow's opportunities. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-217. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: pp. 117-130

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.