Variation, coordination, and trade-offs between needle structures and photosynthetic-related traits across five Picea species: Consequences on plant growth




Wang, Junchen
Ouyang, Fangqun
An, Sanping
Wang, Lifang
Xu, Na
Ma, Jianwei
Wang, Junhui
Zhang, Hanguo
Kong, Lisheng

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BMC Plant Biology


Background: Picea species are distributed and planted world-wide due to their great ecological and economic values. It has been reported that Picea species vary widely in growth traits in a given environment, which reflects genetic and phenotypic differences among species. However, key physiological processes underlying tree growth and the influencing factors on them are still unknown. Results: Here, we examined needle structures, needle chemical components, physiological characteristics and growth traits across five Picea species in a common garden in Tianshui, Gansu province in China: Picea glauca, P. mariana, P. likiangensis, P. koraiensis, and P. crassifolia, among which P. glauca and P. mariana were introduced from North America, P. likiangensis was from Lijiang, Yunan province in China, P. koraiensis was from Yichun, Heilongjiang province in China, and P. crassifolia was native to the experimental site. It was found that nearly all traits varied significantly among species. Tissue-level anatomical characteristics and leaf mass per area (LMA) were affected by needle size, but the variations of them were not associated with the variations in photosynthetic and biochemical capacity among species. Variations in area-based maximum photosynthesis (Pnmax) were affected by stomatal conductance (gs), mesophyll conductance (gm) and biochemical parameters including maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax), and maximum electron transport rate (Jmax). The fraction of N allocated to different photosynthetic apparatus displayed contrasting values among species, which contributed to the species variations in photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE) and Pnmax. Additionally, all growth traits were positively correlated with Pnmax and PNUE. Conclusion: Needle structures are less important than needle biochemical parameters in determining the variations in photosynthetic capacity across the five Picea species. Pnmax and PNUE are closedly associated with the fraction of N allocated to photosynthetic apparatus (Pphoto) compared with leaf N content per area (Narea). The tremendous growth differences among the five Picea species were substantially related to the interspecies variation in Pnmax and PNUE.



Needle structures, Biochemical parameters, Photosynthetic capacity, Photosynthetic N allocation, PNUE, Tree growth


Wang, J., Ouyang, F., An, S., Wang, L., Xu, N., Ma, J., . . . Kong, L. (2022). “Variation, coordination, and trade-offs between needle structures and photosynthetic-related traits across five Picea species: Consequences on plant growth.” BMC Plant Biology, 22(242).