Kinetics of nitrate uptake by different species from nutrient‐rich and nutrient‐poor habitats as affected by the nutrient supply

Siebren J. van de Dijk*, Lineke Lanting, Hans Lambers, Freek Posthumus, Ineke Stulen, Rinie Hofstra

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The species Urtica dioica L., Plantago major ssp. major L., Plantago lanceolata L., Hypochaeris radicata L. ssp. radicata and Hypochaeris radicata ssp. ericetorum Van Soest were grown under high and low nutrient conditions (1/4 Hoagland and 2% of 1/4 Hoagland further called the 100% and 2% treatment, containing 3.75 mM NO‐3 and 0.075 mM NO‐3, respectively). After a certain period half of the plants were transferred from low to high or high to low nutrients, yielding the 100%/2% and the 2%/100% treatments. The kinetics of nitrate uptake in the range of system I of the five species grown under the different nutrient conditions were measured during a three week experimental period. The nitrate uptake of all the species showed the characteristic features of Michaelis‐Menten kinetics. Under low nutrient conditions the apparent Vmax of U. dioica expressed per g dry root was lower than under high nutrient conditions. For H. radicata ssp. radicata and for H. radicata ssp. ericetorum the reverse was found. The Vmax values of P. major ssp. major were almost the same for the two treatments. The apparent Vmax in young plants of P. lanceolata was higher in the 100% treatment than in 2%; whereas the reverse was found in mature plants. The results are explained in relation to the relative growth rate, the shoot to root ratio and the natural environment of the species. The apparent Km values were not influenced by the different treatments. Differences in Km between the species, if any, were very small. It is suggested that the Vmax is a more important parameter for the distribution of plant species in the field than the Km. The rate of nitrogen accumulation was calculated from growth data and the contents of nitrate and reduced nitrogen. It is concluded that the Vmax of system I for nitrate uptake in most cases was sufficient to explain the observed growth rates.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-110
    Number of pages8
    JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1982

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