Changes in susceptibility of beech (Fagus sylvatica) seedlings towards Phytophthora citricola under the influence of elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen fertilization

F. Fleischmann, S. Raidl, W. F. Oßwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The growth-differentiation balance hypothesis (GDBH) predicts changes in susceptibility of plants against herbivores with changing resource availability. In the presented study we tested the validity of the GDBH for trees infected with a root pathogen. For this purpose Fagus sylvatica seedlings grown under different atmospheric CO2- and soil nitrogen regimes were infected with the root pathogen Phytophthora citricola. High nitrogen supply increased total biomass of beech regardless of the CO2-treatment, whereas elevated CO2 enhanced biomass only in the high nitrogen treatment. The responses of beech under the different growing regimes to the Phytophthora root infection were not in line with the predictions of the GDBH. Enhanced susceptibility of beech against P. citricola was found in seedlings grown under elevated CO2 and low nitrogen supply. Fifteen months after inoculation these plants were characterized by enhanced water use efficiency, by altered root-shoot ratios, and by enhanced specific root tip densities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1060
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume158
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Allometry
  • Gas exchange
  • Leaf photosynthesis
  • Root infection
  • Stomatal conductance

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