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Increasing defoliation frequency constrains regrowth of the forage legume Lotus tenuis under flooding : the role of crown reserves

Por: Striker, Gustavo Gabriel.
Colaborador(es): Manzur, Milena Elisa | Grimoldi, Agustín Alberto.
ISSN: 0032-079X.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): CROWN RESERVES | DEFOLIATION FREQUENCY | FLOODING | LEAF REMOVAL | LOTUS TENUIS | PLANT HEIGHT | BIOMASS | CARBOHYDRATE | DEFOLIATION | DICOTYLEDON | FORAGE | GRAZING | LEGUME | REGROWTH | TRADE-OFF | WATER DEPTH | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR. En: Plant and Soil vol.343, no.1-2 (2011), p.261-272Resumen: Repeated defoliation and flooding trigger opposite plant morphologies, prostrated and erect ones, respectively; while both induce the consumption of carbohydrate reserves to sustain plant recovery. This study is aimed at evaluating the effects of the combination of defoliation frequency and flooding on plant regrowth and levels of crown reserves of Lotus tenuis Waldst. and Kit., a forage legume of increasing importance in grazing areas prone to soil flooding. Adult plants of L. tenuis were subjected to 40 days of flooding at a water depth of 4 cm in combination with increasing defoliation frequencies by clipping shoot mass above water level. The following plant responses were assessed: tissue porosity, plant height, biomass of the different organs, and utilization of water-soluble carbohydrates [WSCs] and starch in the crown. Flooding consistently increased plant height independently of the defoliation frequency. This response was associated with a preferential location of shoot biomass above water level and a reduction in root biomass accumulation. As a result, a second defoliation in the middle of the flooding period was more intense among plants that are taller due to flooding. These plants lost ca. 90 percent of their leaf biomass vs. ca. 50 percent among non-flooded plants. The continuous de-submergence shoot response of frequently defoliated plants was attained in accordance to a decrease of their crown reserves. Consequently, these plants registered only 27.8 percent of WSCs and 9.1 percent of starch concentrations with respect to controls. Under such stressful conditions, plants showed a marked reduction in their regrowth as evidenced by the lowest biomass in all plant compartments: shoot, crowns and roots. Increasing defoliation frequency negatively affects the tolerance of the forage legume L. tenuis to flooding stress. Our results reveal a trade-off between the common increase in plant height to emerge from water and the amount of shoot removed to tolerate defoliation. When both factors are combined and defoliation persists, plant regrowth would be constrained by the reduction of crown reserves.
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Repeated defoliation and flooding trigger opposite plant morphologies, prostrated and erect ones, respectively; while both induce the consumption of carbohydrate reserves to sustain plant recovery. This study is aimed at evaluating the effects of the combination of defoliation frequency and flooding on plant regrowth and levels of crown reserves of Lotus tenuis Waldst. and Kit., a forage legume of increasing importance in grazing areas prone to soil flooding. Adult plants of L. tenuis were subjected to 40 days of flooding at a water depth of 4 cm in combination with increasing defoliation frequencies by clipping shoot mass above water level. The following plant responses were assessed: tissue porosity, plant height, biomass of the different organs, and utilization of water-soluble carbohydrates [WSCs] and starch in the crown. Flooding consistently increased plant height independently of the defoliation frequency. This response was associated with a preferential location of shoot biomass above water level and a reduction in root biomass accumulation. As a result, a second defoliation in the middle of the flooding period was more intense among plants that are taller due to flooding. These plants lost ca. 90 percent of their leaf biomass vs. ca. 50 percent among non-flooded plants. The continuous de-submergence shoot response of frequently defoliated plants was attained in accordance to a decrease of their crown reserves. Consequently, these plants registered only 27.8 percent of WSCs and 9.1 percent of starch concentrations with respect to controls. Under such stressful conditions, plants showed a marked reduction in their regrowth as evidenced by the lowest biomass in all plant compartments: shoot, crowns and roots. Increasing defoliation frequency negatively affects the tolerance of the forage legume L. tenuis to flooding stress. Our results reveal a trade-off between the common increase in plant height to emerge from water and the amount of shoot removed to tolerate defoliation. When both factors are combined and defoliation persists, plant regrowth would be constrained by the reduction of crown reserves.

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