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Nitrogen uptake and allocation estimates for Spartina alterniflora and Distichlis spicata

Hill, Troy D. et al.

Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology. Volume 507: (2018, October); pp 53-60

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  • Title:
    Nitrogen uptake and allocation estimates for Spartina alterniflora and Distichlis spicata
  • Author: Hill, Troy D.;
    Sommer, Nathalie R.;
    Kanaskie, Caroline R.;
    Santos, Emily A.;
    Oczkowski, Autumn J.
  • Found In: Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology. Volume 507: (2018, October); pp 53-60
  • Journal Title: Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology
  • Subjects: Nitrogen uptake--Nitrogen-15--Salt marsh--Spartina alterniflora--Distichlis spicata
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Abstract: Abstract Salt marshes have the potential to intercept nitrogen that could otherwise impact coastal water quality. Salt marsh plants play a central role in nutrient interception by retaining N in above- and belowground tissues. We examine N uptake and allocation in two dominant salt marsh plants, short-form Spartina alterniflora and Distichlis spicata . Nitrogen uptake was measured using 15 N tracer experiments conducted over a four-week period, supplemented with stem-level growth rates, primary production, and microbial denitrification assays. By varying experiment duration, we identify the importance of a rarely-measured aspect of experimental design in 15 N tracer studies. Experiment duration had a greater impact on quantitative N uptake estimates than primary production or stem-level relative growth rates. Rapid initial scavenging of added 15 N caused apparent nitrogen uptake rates to decline by a factor of two as experiment duration increased from one week to one month, although each experiment shared the qualitative conclusion that Distichlis roots scavenged N approximately twice as rapidly as Spartina . We estimate total N uptake into above- and belowground tissues as 154 and 277 mg N·m −2 ·d −1 for Spartina and Distichlis, respectively. Driving this pattern were higher N content in Distichlis leaves and belowground tissue and strong differences in primary production; Spartina and Distichlis produced 8.8 and 14.7 g biomass·m −2 ·d −1 . Denitrification potentials were similar in sediment associated with both species, but the strong species-specific difference in N uptake suggests that Distichlis- dominated marshes are likely to intercept more N from coastal waters than are short-form Spartina marshes. The data and source code for this manuscript are available as an R package fromhttps://github.com/troyhill/NitrogenUptake2016. Highlights Nitrogen uptake and allocation were measured over four weeks using 15 N. Distichlis spicata more effectively scavenges nitrogen, per gram of root biomass. 15 N uptake estimates converge with productivity-based estimates of N uptake. Ambient and potential denitrification were comparable between the two species. Shifting dominance in salt marsh vegetation could affect salt marsh N interception.
  • Identifier: System Number: ETOCvdc_100066107673.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0022-0981; 10.1016/j.jembe.2018.07.006
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): 4981.600000
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100066107673.0x000001

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