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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-286
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-286
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  15 Oct 2020

15 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Evaluating the response of ẟ13C in Haloxylon ammodendron, a dominant C4 species in Asian desert ecosystem, to water and nitrogen addition as well as the availability of its ẟ13C as the indicator of water use-efficiency

Zixun Chen1,2, Xuejun Liu2,3, Xiaoqing Cui2,3, Yaowen Han2, Guoan Wang1,2, and Jiazhu Li4 Zixun Chen et al.
  • 1Key Lab of Plant–Soil Interaction, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China
  • 2Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China
  • 3Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 83011, China
  • 4Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, 100192, China

Abstract. Variations in precipitation and atmospheric N deposition affect water and N availability in desert, and thus may have significant effects on desert ecosystems. Haloxylon ammodendron is a dominant plant in Asian desert, and addressing its physiological acclimatization to the changes in precipitation and N deposition can provide an insight into how desert plants adapt extreme environment by physiological adjustment. Carbon isotope ratio (ẟ13C) in plants has been suggested as a sensitive long-term indicator of physiological acclimatization. Therefore, this study evaluated the effect of precipitation change and increasing atmospheric N depositon on ẟ13C of H. ammodendron. Furthermore, Haloxylon ammodendron is a C4 plant, whether its ẟ13C can indicate water use-efficiency (WUE) has not been addressed. In the present study, we designed a field experiment with a completely randomized factorial combination of N and water, and measured ẟ13C, gas exchange and WUE of the assimilating branches of H. ammodendron. ẟ13C in H. ammodendron remained stable under N and water supply, while N addition, water addition and their interaction affected gas exchange and WUE in H. ammodendron. In addition, ẟ13C had no correlation with WUE. This result are associated with the irrelevance between ẟ13C and ci/ca, which might be caused by a special value (0.37) of the degree of bundle-sheath leakiness (φ) or a lower activity of carbonic anhydrase (CA) of H. ammodendron. Thus, ẟ13C of H. ammodendron cannot be used for indicating its WUE.

Zixun Chen et al.

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Short summary
13C in plants is a sensitive long-term indicator of physiological acclimatization. The present study suggests that precipitation change and increasing atmospheric N deposition have little impact on ẟ13C of H. ammodendron, a dominant plant in Central Asia deserts, but affect its gas exchange. In addition, this study shows that ẟ13C of H. ammodendron could not indicate its water use efficiency (WUE), suggesting that whether ẟ13C of C4 plants indicates WUE is species-specific dependent.
13C in plants is a sensitive long-term indicator of physiological acclimatization. The...
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