Inter-annual mobility of nitrogen between beech rings: a labelling experiment

Abstract : Nitrogen concentration [N] and isotopic composition ($\delta$15N) in annual growth rings of 16-year-old beech trees (Fagus sylvatica L.) were measured before and after treatment of wood using organic solvents. The trees, grown under field conditions in Northeastern France, were labelled with $^{15}$N-enriched urea solution at leaf level for three successive years (1993, 1994 and 1995), and were sampled in 2001. $\delta^{15}$N values in this experiment ranged from -4 to -7‰ for non-labelled tree. Labelling resulted in markedly increased $\delta^{15}$N of whole wood for years 1994, 1995 and 1996. Significant labelling-induced increases, compared to non-labelled rings, in $\delta^{15}$N were also found in the rings formed before and after the labelling period, pointing to an important mobility of N across the rings. The extraction removed 36% of total nitrogen and 14% of total carbon. The treatment improved the inter-annual resolution of [N] and $\delta^{15}$N , but did not reduce the $^{15}$N signal in rings prior to labelling to the same level as in control tree as was expected. After extraction, significant correlation between August precipitation and [N] variations at the inter-annual level was found for the 1990-2000 period.
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Sliman Elhani, Brígida Lema, Bernd Zeller, Claude Bréchet, Jean-Marc Guehl, et al.. Inter-annual mobility of nitrogen between beech rings: a labelling experiment. Annals of Forest Science, Springer Verlag/EDP Sciences, 2003, 60 (6), pp.503-508. ⟨10.1051/forest:2003043⟩. ⟨hal-00883723⟩

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