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Journal Articles Plant and Soil Year : 2022

Effect of substrate fertility on tank-bromeliad performances

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Abstract

Purpose: Members of the plant family Bromeliaceae can uptake nutrients directly from their leaves via leaf absorbing trichomes and their roots have long been reduced to anchorage function, thus overlooked. Recently, evidence has accumulated for a significant role for the roots of some species of tank bromeliads in both water and nutrients absorption. However, to date, little attention has been paid to the importance of the substrate fertility for the structure of the roots and the growth and performances of tank bromeliads. Methods: This study investigated the effect of substrate fertility on Aechmea aquilega regarding leaf and root traits, nutrient content, and growth. Seeds of this tank bromeliad were sowed in a greenhouse in French Guiana in three different substrates: a nutrient-poor, a nutrient-rich and a mixed substrate. The performances of 15-month-old A. aquilega were assessed by measuring leaf and root traits related to nutrient acquisition and resources capture. Results: We show that plants growing in nutrient-poor substrate grew twice slower and were smaller than plants grown on the nutrient-rich substrate with fewer leaves and roots, lower total dry mass, and smaller leaves and root length. Overall, 70% of measured traits responded significantly to the experimental treatments indicating that the response of A. aquilega to nutrient availability is a combination of physiological processes, leaf and root structure, and chemistry. Conclusion: This study is the first to show that the fertility of the substrate on which the bromeliad A. aquilega grows has a strong and lasting effect on the plant performances and may be a relevant factor for bromeliad ecology

Dates and versions

hal-03884932 , version 1 (05-12-2022)

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Tristan Lafont-Rapnouil, Sabrina Coste, Jean-Yves Goret, Frédéric Julien, Clément Stahl, et al.. Effect of substrate fertility on tank-bromeliad performances. Plant and Soil, In press, ⟨10.1007/s11104-022-05816-4⟩. ⟨hal-03884932⟩
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