P Limitation (p + limitation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Phosphorus and nitrogen in a monomictic freshwater lake: employing cyanobacterial bioreporters to gain new insights into nutrient bioavailability

Summary 1. It is an uncontested paradigm that an adequate supply of the macronutrients nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) is critical for maintaining phytoplankton primary production in aquatic ecosystems; it has also been suggested that there is an optimal total N : total P ratio for this globally significant process. 2. This ratio, normally assessed by chemical determination of the major dissolved N and P species, poses a dilemma: do chemical measurements actually reflect the bioavailable fraction of these nutrient pools? Accurate determination of the various N and P species and their fluxes into phytoplankton cells is notoriously difficult. 3. To provide a possible solution to this difficulty, we engineered strains of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942 that ,report' on N and P bioavailability via a bioluminescent signal. These strains were used to quantify, for the first time, bioavailable concentrations of these essential macronutrients in a freshwater lake. 4. Only a small fraction (0.01,1%) of the chemically determined P may actually be bioavailable to this unicellular cyanobacterium and, by inference, to the phytoplankton community in general. In contrast, bioavailable N comprises most of the dissolved N pool. Consequently, bioavailable N : P ratios based on these assays are higher then those based on chemical determinations, indicating that P limitation in Lake Kinneret is more extensive then previously thought. [source]

Effects of increased temperature and nutrient enrichment on the stoichiometry of primary producers and consumers in temperate shallow lakes

Summary 1. We studied the effects of increased water temperatures (0,4.5 °C) and nutrient enrichment on the stoichiometric composition of different primary producers (macrophytes, epiphytes, seston and sediment biofilm) and invertebrate consumers in 24 mesocosm ecosystems created to mimic shallow pond environments. The nutrient ratios of primary producers were used as indicative of relative nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) limitation. We further used carbon stable isotopic composition (,13C) of the different primary producers to elucidate differences in the degree of CO2 limitation. 2. Epiphytes were the only primary producer with significantly higher ,13C in the enriched mesocosms. No temperature effects were observed in ,13C composition of any primary producer. Independently of the treatment effects, the four primary producers had different ,13C signatures indicative of differences in CO2 limitation. Seston had signatures indicating negligible or low CO2 limitation, followed by epiphytes and sediment biofilm, with moderate CO2 limitation, while macrophytes showed the strongest CO2 limitation. CO2 together with biomass of epiphytes were the key variables explaining between 50 and 70% of the variability in ,13C of the different primary producers, suggesting that epiphytes play an important role in carbon flow of temperate shallow lakes. 3. The ratio of carbon to chlorophyll a decreased with increasing temperature and enrichment in both epiphytes and seston. The effects of temperature were mainly attributed to changes in algal Chl a content, while the decrease with enrichment was probably a result of a higher proportion of algae in the seston and epiphytes. 4. Macrophytes, epiphytes and seston decreased their C : N with enrichment, probably as an adaptation to the different N availability levels. The C : N of epiphytes and Elodea canadensis decreased with increasing temperature in the control mesocosms. Sediment biofilm was the only primary producer with lower C : P and N : P with enrichment, probably as a result of higher P accumulation in the sediment. 5. Independently of nutrient level and increased temperature effects the four primary producers had significantly different stoichiometric compositions. Macrophytes had higher C : N and C : P and, together with epiphytes, also the highest N : P. Seston had no N or P limitation, while macrophytes and epiphytes may have been P limited in a few mesocosms. Sediment biofilm indicated strong N deficiency. 6. Consumers had strongly homeostatic stoichiometric compositions in comparison to primary producers, with weak or no significant treatment effects in any of the groups (insects, leeches, molluscs and crustaceans). Among consumers, predators had significantly higher N content and lower C : N than grazers. [source]

Accentuation of phosphorus limitation in Geranium dissectum by nitrogen: an ecological genomics study

Abstract Global climate change experiments have shown changes in productivity, phenology, species composition, and nutrient acquisition and availability; yet, the underlying mechanisms for these responses, especially in multi-factorial experiments, are poorly understood. Altered nutrient availability is a major consequence of global change, directly due to anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition, and indirectly due to shifts in temperature and water availability. In the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, microarrays were used to investigate the transcriptional responses of the dominant dicot, Geranium dissectum, to simulated N deposition. The transcript levels for several photosynthetic genes were elevated in plants exposed to elevated N, as has been reported previously, validating the use of microarrays under field conditions. A coordinated response of a suite of genes previously reported to be induced in response to phosphate (Pi) deficiency was observed, including genes for the glycolytic bypass pathway, which reduces ATP and Pi requirements for sugar degradation, suggesting that the plants were phosphorus (P) limited. Confirming this conclusion, foliar P levels in G. dissectum leaves were reduced to levels that are suboptimal for growth in plants grown in elevated N and elevated CO2 plots. Thus, although plants commonly produce more biomass in response to elevated N in native grasslands, this growth response may be suboptimal due to a P limitation. Foliar P levels in plants from elevated CO2 plots were also suboptimal for growth. However, genes indicative of Pi deficiency were not significantly expressed at higher levels. Transcript levels for genes involved in nitrate uptake and assimilation were unchanged by the elevated N deposition treatment, possibly due to the combined impacts of elevated N deposition and P limitation under field conditions. These observations highlight the complexity of the impact of global climate change factors in the field. [source]

Atmospheric nitrogen deposition has caused nitrogen enrichment and eutrophication of lakes in the northern hemisphere

Abstract We compiled chemical data and phytoplankton biomass (PB) data (chlorophyll a) from unproductive lakes in 42 different regions in Europe and North America, and compared these data to inorganic nitrogen (N) deposition over these regions. We demonstrate that increased deposition of inorganic N over large areas of Europe and North America has caused elevated concentrations of inorganic N in lakes. In addition, the unproductive lakes in high N deposition areas had clearly higher PB relative to the total phosphorus (P) concentrations illustrating that the elevated inorganic N concentrations has resulted in eutrophication and increased biomass of phytoplankton. The eutrophication caused by inorganic N deposition indicates that PB yield in a majority of lakes in the northern hemisphere is (was) limited by N in their natural state. We, therefore, suggest that P limitation largely concerns lakes where the balance between N and P has been changed because of increased anthropogenic input of N. [source]

Global-scale patterns of nutrient resorption associated with latitude, temperature and precipitation

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
Z. Y. Yuan
ABSTRACT Aim Nutrient resorption from senescing leaves is an important mechanism of nutrient conservation in plants, but the patterns of nutrient resorption at the global scale are unknown. Because soil nutrients vary along climatic gradients, we hypothesize that nutrient resorption changes with latitude, temperature and precipitation. Location Global. Methods We conducted a meta-analysis on a global data set collected from published literature on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) resorption of woody plants. Results For all data pooled, both N resorption efficiency (NRE) and P resorption efficiency (PRE) were significantly related to latitude, mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP): NRE increased with latitude but decreased with MAT and MAP. In contrast, PRE decreased with latitude but increased with MAT and MAP. When functional groups (shrub versus tree, coniferous versus broadleaf and evergreen versus deciduous) were examined individually, the patterns of NRE and PRE in relation to latitude, MAT and MAP were generally similar. Main conclusions The relationships between N and P resorption and latitude, MAT and MAP indicate the existence of geographical patterns of plant nutrient conservation strategies in relation to temperature and precipitation at the global scale, particularly for PRE, which can be an indicator for P limitation in the tropics and selective pressure shaping the evolution of plant traits. Our results suggest that, although the magnitude of plant nutrient resorption might be regulated by local factors such as substrate, spatial patterns are also controlled by temperature or precipitation. [source]

On the Phosphorus Limitation Paradigm for Lakes

Robert W. Sterner stern007@umn.edu
Abstract Lakes are often said to be primarily phosphorus limited, but this paradigm has been described in numerous ways and there is considerable evidence that algae in lakes are often limited by other elements too. Crucial whole-ecosystem experiments that support the paradigm of the primacy of P limitation are few in number and have been limited to naturally oligotrophic lakes. A large amount of observational and experimental data seems to contradict the phosphorus limitation paradigm and instead indicates that most lakes are co-limited by N and P as well as, perhaps, by Fe and other resources. The biogeochemical theory behind the phosphorus limitation paradigm is that mechanisms can supplement cycles of C and N (and, discussed here, perhaps Fe) so that ultimately it is P that limits production and biomass. However, no mechanism has been proposed for ecosystems to overshoot this endpoint, meaning one might logically expect to see frequent occurrence of co-limitation by P, N and other resources over short, but still ecologically meaningful time scales that influence, for example, biodiversity patterns in lakes. One point of view has been that small-scale experimentation is simply misleading. However, an alternative is that even if P is ultimately limiting over multi-annual time scales, over shorter but still meaningful time scales, co-limitation of multiple nutrients is expected, and indeed is very common. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]



The effects of phosphate (P) limitation, varying salinity (5,65 psu), and solid media growth conditions on the polysaccharides produced by the model diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin were determined. Sequential extraction was used to separate polymers into colloidal (CL), colloidal extracellular polymeric substances (cEPS), hot water soluble (HW), hot bicarbonate soluble (HB), and hot alkali (HA) soluble fractions. Media-soluble polymers (CL and cEPS) were enriched in 4-linked mannosyl, glucosyl, and galactosyl residues as well as terminal and 3-linked xylosyl residues, whereas HW polymers consisted mainly of 3-linked glucosyl as well as terminal and 2,4-linked glucuronosyl residues. The HB fraction was enriched in terminal and 2-linked rhamnosyl residues derived from the mucilage coating solubilized by this treatment. Hot alkali treatment resulted in the complete dissolution of the frustule releasing 2,3- and 3-linked mannosyl residues. The fusiform morphotype predominated in standard and P-limited cultures and cultures subjected to salinity variations, but growth on solid media resulted in an enrichment of the oval morphotype. The proportion and linkages of 15 residues, including neutral, uronic acid, and O -methylated sugars, varied with environmental conditions. P limitation and salinity changes resulted in 1.5- to 2.5,fold increase in carbohydrate production, with enrichment of highly branched/substituted and terminal rhamnose, xylose, and fucose as well as O -methylated sugars, uronic acids, and sulfate. The increased deoxy- and O -methylated sugar content under unfavorable environments enhances the hydrophobicity of the polymers, whereas the anionic components may play important roles in ionic cross-linking, suggesting that these changes could ameliorate the effects of salinity or P-stress and that these altered polysaccharide characteristics may be useful as bioindicators for environmental stress. [source]


Pascal Claquin
The elemental composition and the cell cycle stages of the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana Hasle and Heimdal were studied in continuous cultures over a range of different light- (E), nitrogen- (N), and phosphorus- (P) limited growth rates. In all growth conditions investigated, the decrease in the growth rate was linked with a higher relative contribution of the G2+M phase. The other phases of the cell cycle, G1 and S, showed different patterns, depending on the type of limitation. All experiments showed a highly significant increase in the amount of biogenic silica per cell and per cell surface with decreasing growth rates. At low growth rates, the G2+M elongation allowed an increase of the silicification of the cells. This pattern could be explained by the major uptake of silicon during the G2+M phase and by the independence of this process on the requirements of the other elements. This was illustrated by the elemental ratios Si/C and Si/N that increased from 2- to 6-fold, depending of the type of limitation, whereas the C/N ratio decreased by 10% (E limitation) or increased by 50% (P limitation). The variations of the ratios clearly demonstrate the uncoupling of the Si metabolism compared with the C and N metabolisms. This uncoupling enabled us to explain that in any of the growth condition investigated, the silicification of the cells increased at low growth rates, whereas carbon and nitrogen cellular content are differently regulated, depending of the growth conditions. [source]

Grain mineral concentrations and yield of wheat grown under organic and conventional management

MH Ryan
Abstract On the low-P soils in southeastern Australia, organic crops differ from conventional ones primarily in the use of relatively insoluble, as opposed to soluble, P fertilisers and in the non-use of herbicides. As organic management, particularly elimination of soluble fertilisers, is often claimed to enhance grain mineral concentrations, we examined grain from wheat on paired organic and conventional farms in two sets of experiments: (1) four pairs of commercial crops (1991,1993); and (2) fertiliser experiments on one farm pair where nil fertiliser was compared with 40 kg ha,1 of P as either relatively insoluble reactive phosphate rock or more soluble superphosphate (1991 and 1992). All wheat was grown following a 2,6 year legume-based pasture phase. Both conventional management and the superphosphate treatment greatly increased yields but reduced colonisation by mycorrhizal fungi. While only minor variations occurred in grain N, K, Mg, Ca, S and Fe concentrations, conventional grain had lower Zn and Cu but higher Mn and P than organic grain. These differences were ascribed to: soluble P fertilisers increasing P uptake but reducing mycorrhizal colonisation and thereby reducing Zn uptake and enhancing Mn uptake; dilution of Cu in heavier crops; and past lime applications on the organic farm decreasing Mn availability. These variations in grain minerals had nutritional implications primarily favouring the organic grain; however, organic management and, specifically, elimination of soluble fertilisers did not induce dramatic increases in grain mineral concentrations. In addition, organic management was coupled with yield reductions of 17,84 per cent due to P limitation and weeds. The impact of large regional variations in the characteristics of organic and conventional systems on the general applicability of the results from this study and other similar studies is discussed. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Nutrient concentration ratios and co-limitation in South African grasslands

Joseph M. Craine
Summary ,Assessing plant nutrient limitation is a fundamental part of understanding grassland dynamics. The ratio of concentrations of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in vegetation has been proposed as an index of the relative limitation of biomass production by N and P, but its utility has not been tested well in grasslands. ,At five sites in Kruger National Park, South Africa, across soil and precipitation contrasts, N and P were added in a factorial design to grass-dominated plots. ,Although the N:P ratio of unfertilized vegetation across all sites (5.8) would have indicated that production was N-limited, aboveground production was consistently co-limited by N and P. Aboveground production was still greater in plots fertilized with N and P than in those fertilized with just N, but the N:P ratio did not exceed standard thresholds for P limitation in N-fertilized vegetation. Comparisons among sites showed little pattern between site N:P ratio and relative responses to N and P. ,When combined with results from other grassland fertilization studies, these data suggest that the N:P ratio of grasses has little ability to predict limitation in upland grasslands. Co-limitation between N and P appears to be much more widespread than would be predicted from simple assumptions of vegetative N:P ratios. [source]

Citrate exudation from white lupin induced by phosphorus deficiency differs from that induced by aluminum

B. L. Wang
Summary ,,Both phosphorus (P) deficiency and aluminum (Al) toxicity induce root exudation of carboxylates, but the relationship between these two effects is not fully understood. Here, carboxylate exudation induced by Al in Lupinus albus (white lupin) was characterized and compared with that induced by P deficiency. ,,Aluminum treatments were applied to whole root systems or selected root zones of plants with limited (1 µm) or sufficient (50 µm) P supply. ,,Aluminum stimulated citrate efflux after 1,2 h; this response was not mimicked by a similar trivalent cation, La3+. P deficiency triggered citrate release from mature cluster roots, whereas Al stimulated citrate exudation from the 5- to 10-mm subapical root zones of lateral roots and from mature and senescent cluster roots. Al-induced citrate exudation was inhibited by P limitation at the seedling stage, but was stimulated at later growth stages. Citrate exudation was sensitive to anion-channel blockers. Al treatments did not affect primary root elongation, but inhibited the elongation of lateral roots. ,,The data demonstrate differential patterns of citrate exudation in L. albus, depending on root zone, developmental stage, P nutritional status and Al stress. These findings are discussed in terms of possible functions and underlying mechanisms. [source]

Increased N affects P uptake of eight grassland species: the role of root surface phosphatase activity

OIKOS, Issue 10 2010
Yuki Fujita
Increased N deposition may change species composition in grassland communities by shifting them to P limitation. Interspecific differences in P uptake traits might be a crucial yet poorly understood factor in determining the N effects. To test the effects of increased N supply (relative to P), we conducted two greenhouse fertilization experiments with eight species from two functional groups (grasses, herbs), including those common in P and N limited grasslands. We investigated plant growth and P uptake from two P sources, orthophosphate and not-readily available P (bound-P), under different N supply levels. Furthermore, to test if the N effects on P uptake was due to N availability alone or altered N:P ratio, we examined several uptake traits (root-surface phosphatase activity, specific root length (SRL), root mass ratio (RMR)) under varying N:P supply ratios. Only a few species (M. caerulea, A. capillaris, S. pratensis) could take up a similar amount of P from bound-P to that from orthophosphate. These species had neither higher SRL, RMR, phosphatase activity per unit root (Paseroot), nor higher total phosphatase activity (Pasetot: Paseroot times root mass), but higher relative phosphatase activity (Paserel: Pasetot divided by biomass) than other species. The species common from P-limited grasslands had high Paserel. P uptake from bound-P was positively correlated with Pasetot for grasses. High N supply stimulated phosphatase activity but decreased RMR and SRL, resulting in no increase in P uptake from bound-P. Paseroot was influenced by N:P supply ratio, rather than by only N or P level, whereas SRL and RMR was not dominantly influenced by N:P ratio. We conclude that increased N stimulates phosphatase activity via N:P stoichiometry effects, which potentially increases plant P uptake in a species-specific way. N deposition, therefore, may alter plant community structure not only by enhancing productivity, but also by favouring species with traits that enable them to persist better under P limited conditions. [source]

Effect of temperature and soluble reactive phosphorus on abundance of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (Cyanophyceae)

Keishi Takano
SUMMARY Filament density of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (Lemmerm.) Ralfs, water temperature and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) were measured from April to August in 1993,1996 in Lake Barato, Hokkaido, Japan. In addition, growth characteristics and internal phosphorus (P) utilization of Aph. flos-aquae were evaluated under P limitation at three temperatures (15, 20 and 25,C) to clarify the role of internal accumulated P for its growth in the incubation experiment. The filament density was highest in early July 1994, when SRP concentration had not yet decreased and the water temperature was high. These are important factors favoring an increase in abundance of this species in L. Barato. During batch culture, the time course of the stationary phase was shortest at 25,C and longest at 15,C; the cellular C:P molar ratio was 111 under P sufficiency and increased eight- to 12-fold under P limitation. As the C:P ratio was significantly higher in the decreasing phase at 15,C, Aph. flos-aquae may be more adaptable to Plimitation at 15,C than at 20,C and 25,C. However, the low temperatures did not favor the abundance of Aph. flos-aquae in 1996. This indicates that the filament density of Aph. flos-aquae decreases before it reaches the maximum value for some reason under P limitation in L. Barato. [source]

Growth in epiphytic bromeliads: response to the relative supply of phosphorus and nitrogen

PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
G. Zotz
Abstract Insufficient nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) frequently limit primary production. Although most nutrient studies on vascular epiphytes have focused on N uptake, circumstantial evidence suggests that P rather than N is the most limiting element for growth in this plant group. We directly tested this by subjecting a total of 162 small individuals of three bromeliad species (Guzmania monostachia, Tillandsia elongata, Werauhia sanguinolenta) to three N and three P levels using a full-factorial experimental design, and determined relative growth rates (RGR) and nutrient acquisition over a period of 11 weeks. Both N and P supply had a significant effect on RGR, but only tissue P concentrations were correlated with growth. Uptake rates of N and P, in contrast, were not correlated with RGR. Increased nutrient supply led to an up to sevenfold increase in tissue P concentration compared to natural conditions, while concentrations of N hardly changed or even decreased. All treatment combinations, even at the lowest experimental P supply, led to decreased N:P ratios. We conclude that P is at least as limiting as N for vegetative function under natural conditions in these epiphytic bromeliads. This conclusion is in line with the general notion of the prevalence of P limitation for the functioning of terrestrial vegetation in the tropics. [source]