Photosynthesis of Festuca rupicola and Bothriochloa ischaemum under degradation and cutting pressure in a semiarid loess grassland

K. Szente, Z. Nagy, Z. Tuba, G. Fekete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Effects of degradation (involving invasion) and cutting on the net photosynthetic rate (P(N)) of Festuca rupicola and Bothriochloa ischaemum were studied in a semiarid loess grassland (Salvio-Festucetum rupicolae). In a more degraded stand, where the degrees of drought and nitrogen deficiency were more pronounced, both the number and cover of B. ischaemum plants, and their P(N), water and nitrogen use efficiencies (WUE, NUE) increased. This suggested that the invasion of the grassland by B. ischaemum may be related to its improved carbon balance possessing a more stresstolerant and efficient C4 type of photosynthesis. However, P(N) in B. ischaenum was lower in the less degraded stands. This indicated a low tolerance of photosynthesis to interspecific competition in B. ischaemum. P(N) in F. rupicola was tolerant to both intra- and interspecific competition and it was also highly tolerant to cutting during the previous year. In contrast, B. ischaemum in the more degraded stands proved to be rather intolerant to cutting. Different tolerance of these two species was probably caused by temporal differences in their growing seasons and shoot developmental dynamics, and by the differences in their root saccharide and nitrogen pools. Negative response to cutting in B. ischaemum occurred in a B. schaemum-dominated stand. This suggested that the invasion by B. ischaemum in the original grassland was controlled by management (cutting/grazing) and also by interspecific interactions posed by the original species and their abundances. Yet easing the cutting/grazing pressure by abandoning management facilitated the invasion by B. ischaemum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-407
Number of pages9
JournalPhotosynthetica
Volume32
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 4 1996

Keywords

  • net photosynthetic rate
  • nitrogen use efficiency
  • proteins
  • saccharides
  • specific leaf mass
  • starch
  • transpiration
  • water use efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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