Insights into nitrogen allocation and recycling from nitrogen elemental analysis and 15N isotope labelling in 14 genotypes of willow

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Brereton, N. J. B., Pitre, F. E., Shield, I. F., Hanley, S. J., Ray, M. J., Murphy, R. J. and Karp, A. 2014. Insights into nitrogen allocation and recycling from nitrogen elemental analysis and 15N isotope labelling in 14 genotypes of willow. Tree Physiology. 34 (11), pp. 1252-1262.

AuthorsBrereton, N. J. B., Pitre, F. E., Shield, I. F., Hanley, S. J., Ray, M. J., Murphy, R. J. and Karp, A.
Abstract

Minimizing nitrogen (N) fertilization inputs during cultivation is essential for sustainable production of bioenergy and biofuels. The biomass crop willow (Salix spp.) is considered to have low N fertilizer requirements due to efficient recycling of nutrients during the perennial cycle. To investigate how successfully different willow genotypes assimilate and allocate N during growth, and remobilize and consequently recycle N before the onset of winter dormancy, N allocation and N remobilization (to and between different organs) were examined in 14 genotypes of a genetic family using elemental analysis and N-15 as a label. Cuttings were established in pots in April and sampled in June, August and at onset of senescence in October. Biomass yield of the trees correlated well with yields recorded in the field. Genotype-specific variation was observed for all traits measured and general trends spanning these sampling points were identified when trees were grouped by biomass yield. Nitrogen reserves in the cutting fuelled the entirety of the canopy establishment, yet earlier cessation of this dependency was linked to higher biomass yields. The stem was found to be the major N reserve by autumn, which constitutes a major source of N loss at harvest, typically every 2-3 years. These data contribute to understanding N remobilization in short rotation coppice willow and to the identification of traits that could potentially be selected for in breeding programmes to further improve the sustainability of biomass production.

Year of Publication2014
JournalTree Physiology
Journal citation34 (11), pp. 1252-1262
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/treephys/tpt081
PubMed ID24186940
PubMed Central IDPMC4277264
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeCropping Carbon (CC) [ISPG]
Maximising carbon harvest from perennial crops
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Nov 2013
Publication process dates
Accepted26 Aug 2013
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
ISSN0829-318X

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