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Responses to Nutrient Addition among Shade-Tolerant Tree Seedlings of Lowland Tropical Rain Forest in Singapore

D. F. R. P. Burslem, P. J. Grubb and I. M. Turner
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 83, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 113-122
DOI: 10.2307/2261155
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2261155
Page Count: 10
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Responses to Nutrient Addition among Shade-Tolerant Tree Seedlings of Lowland Tropical Rain Forest in Singapore
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Abstract

1 Two bioassays of growth limitation were carried out for seedlings of four shade-tolerant tree species (Antidesma cuspidatum, Calophyllum tetrapterum, Dipterocarpus kunstleri and Garcinia scortechinii) growing in P-deficient soil taken from lowland dipterocarp forest in Singapore, as a test of the hypothesis that growth would be limited by the availability of phosphorus. 2 Seedlings of only one species, Antidesma cuspidatum, showed increased growth in response to increased nutrient supply and in that case the limiting nutrient was not P. A majority of seedlings of Antidesma, Calophyllum and Garcinia in this experiment possessed VA mycorrhizas. 3 For seedlings of Antidesma, addition of magnesium led to an increase in the concentration of Mg in all fractions and a positive relation between Mg concentrations and dry mass yield. Addition of potassium and calcium resulted in reductions in concentrations of these elements in the leaves of Antidesma. 4 Seedlings of Antidesma, Calophyllum and Dipterocarpus responded to P by altering distribution of dry mass between different plant parts; the pattern of response varied between species. Phosphorus taken up in excess of requirements for vegetative growth was transferred to plant stems rather than leaves. 5 The outcome of pot bioassays may be dependent on factors such as pot size, irradiance and soil moisture conditions; therefore conclusions drawn here need to be tested by field fertilization experiments.

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