Significance of ozone exposure for inter-annual differences in primary metabolites of old-growth beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) trees in a mixed forest stand

Alexou, M.; Hofer, N.; Liu, X.; Rennenberg, H.; Haberer, K.

Plant Biology 9(2): 227-241

2007


ISSN/ISBN: 1435-8603
PMID: 17357017
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-924648
Accession: 013268002

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Abstract
The influence of long-term free-air ozone fumigation and canopy position on leaf contents of total glutathione, its redox state, non-structural proteins (NSP), soluble amino compounds, and total soluble sugars in old-growth beech (FAGUS SYLVATICA) and spruce (PICEA ABIES) trees were determined over a period of five years. Ozone fumigation had weak effects on the analysed metabolites of both tree species and significant changes in the contents of total glutathione, NSP, and soluble sugars were observed only selectively. Beech leaves were affected by crown position to a higher extent than spruce needles and exhibited lower contents of total glutathione and NSP and total soluble sugars, but enhanced contents of oxidised glutathione and amino compounds in the shade compared to the sun crown. Contents of total soluble sugars generally were decreased in shade compared to sun needles of spruce trees. Interspecific differences between beech and spruce were more distinct in the sun compared to the shade crown. Contents of total glutathione were increased whilst contents of amino compounds and total soluble sugars were lower in spruce needles compared to beech leaves. The metabolites determined showed individual patterns in the course of the five measurement years. Contents of total glutathione and its redox state correlated with air temperature and global radiation, indicating an important role for the antioxidant at low temperatures. Correlations of glutathione with instantaneous ozone concentrations seem to be a secondary effect. Differences in proteins and/or amino compounds in the inter-annual course are assumed to be a consequence of alterations in specific N uptake rates.