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Does geographic origin dictate ecological strategies in Acacia senegal (L.) Willd.?: evidence from carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes

Gray, Alan; Odee, David; Cavers, Stephen; Wilson, Julia; Telford, Annika; Grant, Fiona; Diouf, Mayecor; Ochieng, John; Grant, Helen; Stott, Andrew. 2013 Does geographic origin dictate ecological strategies in Acacia senegal (L.) Willd.?: evidence from carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. Plant and Soil, 369 (1-2). 479-496. 10.1007/s11104-013-1593-4

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Abstract/Summary

Background and aims: Acacia senegal, a leguminous dryland tree, is economically and ecologically important to sub-Saharan Africa.Water-use efficiency (WUE) and biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) are fundamental to plant productivity and survival.We quantify provenance differences in WUE, BNF, photosynthesis, biomass and gum arabic production from A. senegal assessing genetic improvement potential. Methods: Using stable isotope ratios, we determined WUE (δ13C) and BNF (δ15N) from provenances of mature A. senegal in field-trials (Senegal), sampling leaves at the beginning (wet) and end (dry) of the rainy season. Seedling provenance trials (UK) determined photosynthesis, and biomass and δ13C in relation to water table. Environmental data were characterised for all provenances at their sites of origin. Results: Provenances differed in both δ13C and δ15N. Gum yield declined with increasing WUE. Virtually no BNF was detected during the dry season and seedlings and mature trees may have different WUE strategies. Wind speed and soil characteristics at provenance origin were correlated with isotope composition and gum production. Conclusion: Provenance differences suggest that selection for desirable traits, e.g., increased gum production, may be possible. As ecological strategies relate to native locality, the environmental conditions at plantation site and provenance origin are important in assessing selection criteria.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s11104-013-1593-4
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.1 - Interactions ... structure ecosystems and their functioning
CEH Sections: Shore
Watt
ISSN: 0032-079X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The final publication is available at link.springer.com
Additional Keywords: water use efficiency, biological nitrogen fixation, sub-Saharan Africa, stable isotopes photosynthesis, light response curves, provenance
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Botany
Date made live: 04 Feb 2013 13:54 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/21365

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