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Influence of potassium and sodium nutrition on leaf area components in Eucalyptus grandis trees

Battie Laclau P., Laclau J.P., De Cassia Piccolo M., Cersózimo Arenque B., Beri C., Mietton L., Almeida Muniz M.R., Jordan-Meille L., Silveira Buckeridge M., Nouvellon Y., Ranger J., Bouillet J.P.. 2013. Plant and Soil, 371 (1-2) : p. 19-35.

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-013-1663-7

Background and Aims Recent studies showed a positive tree response to Na addition in K-depleted tropical soils. Our study aimed to gain insight into the effects of K and Na fertilizations on leaf area components for a widely planted tree species. Methods Leaf expansion rates, as well as nutrient, polyol and soluble sugar concentrations, were measured from emergence to abscission of tagged leaves in 1-year-old Eucalyptus grandis plantations. Leaf cell size and water status parameters were compared 1 and 2 months after leaf emergence in plots with KCl application (+K), NaCl application (+Na) and control plots (C). Results K and Na applications enhanced tree leaf area by increasing both leaf longevity and the mean area of individual leaves. Higher cell turgor in treatments +K and +Na than in the C treatment resulting from higher concentrations of osmotica contributed to increasing both palisade cell diameters and the size of fully expanded leaves. Conclusions Intermediate total tree leaf area in treatment +Na compared to treatments C and +K might result from the capacity of Na to substitute K in osmoregulatory functions, whereas it seemed unable to accomplish other important K functions that contribute to delaying leaf senescence.

Mots-clés : eucalyptus grandis; plantation forestière; fertilisation; potassium; sodium; surface foliaire; analyse de tissu foliaire; croissance; fertilité du sol; brésil

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