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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-328
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-328
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 28 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 28 Oct 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Relationships between leaf δ15N and leaf metallic nutrients

Chongjuan Chen1,2, Yingjie Wu1, Shuhan Wang3, Zhaotong Liu1, and Guoan Wang1 Chongjuan Chen et al.
  • 1Beijing 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
  • 2Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China
  • 3Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

Abstract. Metallic nutrients play a vital role in plant physiological and biochemical processes such as nitrogen uptake and assimilation, which cause isotopic fractionation against 15N. Thus, investigating the relationships between leaf nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) and leaf metallic nutrients could enhance our understanding of nitrogen (N) cycling. However, to our knowledge, these relationships have not been examined as yet. To fill in this research gap, we analyzed leaf δ15N and leaf potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) contents of 624 non-N2-fixing plant samples and revealed the relationships between leaf δ15N and these metallic elements. Overall, leaf δ15N correlated positively with leaf K, Ca, Mg and Zn, and negatively with leaf Fe, whereas not with leaf Mn. The relationships of leaf δ15N with leaf K, Ca, Mg, Zn and Fe were not affected by both vegetation type and soil type, suggesting that the observed relationships could be universally valid. However, the relationship between leaf δ15N and leaf Mn depended on vegetation type and soil type, therefore, the observed relationship should not be considered to be universal. These metallic nutrients together accounted for 55.7 % of the variations in leaf δ15N; this emphasized the significance of metallic nutrients in determining leaf δ15N.

Chongjuan Chen et al.
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Short summary
Relationships between leaf δ15N and concentrations of leaf metallic nutrients have not been examined as yet though they could enhance our understanding of N cycling. By analyzing 624 non-N2-fixing plant samples, we first found that leaf δ15N was positively correlated with leaf K, Ca, Mg and Zn, negatively correlated with leaf Fe, and not related to leaf Mn. All of them together explained 55.7 % of variations in leaf δ15N. This study emphasized the significance of metallic nutrients in N cycling.
Relationships between leaf δ15N and concentrations of leaf metallic nutrients have not been...
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