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Carbon isotope distribution along pine needles (Pinus nigra Arnold)

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Author(s): Lidia Barszczowska | Mariusz Orion Jędrysek

Journal: Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae
ISSN 0001-6977

Volume: 74;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 93;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: needle | growth | pine | Pinus nigra | carbon isotopes | kinetic isotope effects | inhomogeneity

ABSTRACT
In this paper we show spatial carbon isotope variations in black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold) needles, collected in spring 2001 and autumn 2003, from trees at the coast of south-western Croatia island (Žirje) and southern Spain (Benalmadena near Malaga), respectively. Needles were segmented perpendicularly to the longer axis (base, middle and top) and each segment was analysed separately. d13C values in needles from Croatia varied between -26.65‰ to -24.43‰ (2 months old needles) and from -28.25‰ to -25.21‰ (1 year old needles), while d13C values in needles from Spain varied from -27.58‰ to -25.27‰. The difference between d13Cb (base) and d13Ct (top) in the same needle (D13Cb-t) varied from 1.85 to 2.05‰ (in young needles from Croatia), from 0,02 to 1,80‰ (young needles from Spain), and 1.16 to 2.32‰, (in old needles from Croatia). The average D13Cb-t values were 0.78‰ and 1.73‰ in Spain and Croatia, respectively. In each needle the base of the needle was always 13C-enriched as compared to the top of the same needle. This evidences that carbon isotopes are not retranslocated after its fixation into the leaf structure (after the growth process is over). Temperature variation was most probably negligible for the discovered intraneedle carbon isotope distribution. Although, the intraneedle carbon isotope inhomogeneity can be partly the result of seasonal variation in d13C of atmospheric CO2, most probably the remarkably high D13Cb-t values, and regular pattern, are predominantly resulting from isotopic and chemical composition of primary and secondary products contained in the growin part of needle and kinetic isotope fractionation during decomposition of storage materials at the base.
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