Kosola, K. R., D. Parry, and B. A. Workmaster. 2006. Response of condensed tannins in poplar roots to fertilization and gypsy moth defoliation. Tree Physiology 26:1607-1611.

Citable PDF link: https://lter.kbs.msu.edu/pub/2383

We examined the effects of fertilization and gypsy moth defoliation on condensed tannin concentration (%CT) of hybrid poplar (Populus canadensis cv ‘Eugeneii’) fine roots in the summers of 1997 and 1998. This factorial experiment included two defoliation treatments (defoliated and a foliated control) and fertilization treatments (100 kg nitrogen (N) ha-1 and an unfertilized control). Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) populations were experimentally increased to obtain defoliation in the summers of 1996, 1997 and 1998; fertilization subplots were supplemented with NH4NO3 (100 kg N ha-1) in the spring of each year. Despite the severity of defoliation, the effects were small, and significant on only two sampling dates: in May 1997, when fine root CT was 23 lower in the defoliated trees, and in November 1997, when trees in the defoliated unfertilized plots had 35% higher root %CT than trees in all other plots. Defoliation effects on root %CT did not follow the same seasonal pattern as defoliation effects on root starch content, N uptake capacity or leaf %CT. Regulation of root condensed tannin concentration appeared to be partially uncoupled from these traits. The small transient effects on root defense reflect the resilience of this early successional tree to severe early season defoliation.

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