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Title: Genders in Juniperus thurifera have different functional responses to variations in nutrient availability
Authors: Montesinos, D. 
Villar, P. 
García-Fayos, P. 
Verdú, M. 
Issue Date: Feb-2012
Serial title, monograph or event: New Phytologist
Volume: 193
Issue: 3
Abstract: • Differences in reproductive investment can trigger asymmetric, context-dependent, functional strategies between genders in dioecious species. However, little is known about the gender responses of dioecious species to nutrient availability. • We experimentally fertirrigated a set of male and female Juniperus thurifera trees monthly for 2 yr. Water potential, photosynthesis rate and stomatal conductance were measured monthly for 2 yr, while shoot nitrogen (N) concentration, carbon isotopic composition (δ(13) C), branch growth, trunk radial growth and reproductive investment per branch were measured yearly. • Control males had lower gas exchange rates and radial growth but greater reproductive investment and higher water use efficiency (WUE; as inferred from more positive δ(13) C values) than females. Fertirrigation did not affect water potential or WUE but genders responded differently to increased nutrient availability. The two genders similarly increased shoot N concentration when fertilized. The increase in shoot N was associated with increased photosynthesis in males but not in females, which presented consistently high photosynthetic rates across treatments. • Our results suggest that genders invest N surplus in different functions, with females presenting a long-term strategy by increasing N storage to compensate for massive reproductive masting events, while males seem to be more reactive to current nutrient availability, promoting gas-exchange capacity.
ISSN: 1469-8137
DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03982.x
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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