Event Title

Session 1I: Exploring Nutrient Availability in Tropical Rainforests

Session Number

Session 1I: 1st Presentation

Advisor(s)

Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare, The Morton Arboretum

Location

Room A119

Start Date

26-4-2018 9:40 AM

End Date

26-4-2018 10:25 AM

Abstract

Tropical rainforests have a large impact on global climate because they are responsible for about ⅓ of the carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and the biosphere and store large amounts of carbon (C) as biomass in trees. Soil nutrient availability is an important factor influencing C cycling in forests by controlling tree growth and leaf nutrient concentrations. Our experiment sought to understand how plants respond to changes in soil nutrient availability in a lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. Specifically, we studied how nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) additions impact foliar nutrient concentrations in the leaves of the most abundant tree (Pentaclethra macroloba) and tree palm (Socratea exorrhiza) seedlings. We collected 84 seedlings at EARTH University’s EFFEX experiment, where forest plots have been continuously fertilized with N, P, NP, or kept as controls for 11 years. We measured leaf area and herbivory using Image J software and analyzed foliar nutrients using an elemental analyzer. We predict that an increase in edaphic N and P concentrations will increase foliar P.

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Apr 26th, 9:40 AM Apr 26th, 10:25 AM

Session 1I: Exploring Nutrient Availability in Tropical Rainforests

Room A119

Tropical rainforests have a large impact on global climate because they are responsible for about ⅓ of the carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and the biosphere and store large amounts of carbon (C) as biomass in trees. Soil nutrient availability is an important factor influencing C cycling in forests by controlling tree growth and leaf nutrient concentrations. Our experiment sought to understand how plants respond to changes in soil nutrient availability in a lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. Specifically, we studied how nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) additions impact foliar nutrient concentrations in the leaves of the most abundant tree (Pentaclethra macroloba) and tree palm (Socratea exorrhiza) seedlings. We collected 84 seedlings at EARTH University’s EFFEX experiment, where forest plots have been continuously fertilized with N, P, NP, or kept as controls for 11 years. We measured leaf area and herbivory using Image J software and analyzed foliar nutrients using an elemental analyzer. We predict that an increase in edaphic N and P concentrations will increase foliar P.