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Effects of phosphorus supply on growth and nitrogen fractions in xylem sap and foliage of Eucalyptus regnans (F.Muell.), E. nitens (Maiden) and E. globulus (Labill.) seedlings: implications for herbivory


Rates of growth of seedlings of E. globulus, E. regnans and E. nitens were related to phosphorus supply in two soils but concentrations of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in most plant tissues did not vary significantly among soil or phosphorus treatments. Differences in concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus and in the composition of the pool of free amino-acids among leaves at different stages of development were far greater than differences between treatments. The most significant of these differences were several-fold greater concentrations of arginine in the oldest leaves and these are most likely due to protein degradation and/or in situ synthesis since arginine is not generally phloem mobile. The concentration of reduced nitrogen in xylem sap was inversely related to growth and glutamine was by far the dominant nitrogenous solute. We suggest that specific nitrogenous solutes may be useful indices of the nitrogen status of eucalypt tissues for insect herbivores.

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Correspondence to M. A. Adams.

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Adams, M.A., Attiwill, P.M. & Min Wang, L. Effects of phosphorus supply on growth and nitrogen fractions in xylem sap and foliage of Eucalyptus regnans (F.Muell.), E. nitens (Maiden) and E. globulus (Labill.) seedlings: implications for herbivory. Trees 9, 324–331 (1995).

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Key words

  • Amino acids
  • Arginine
  • Eucalyptus
  • Foliage
  • Nitrogen