Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 499-506.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00046

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of a nitrogen fixing plant Vigna radiata on growth, leaf stomatal gas exchange and hydraulic characteristics of the intercropping Juglans regia seedlings

ZHANG Cui-Ping1,MENG Ping2,ZHANG Jin-Song2,WAN Xian-Chong1,*()   

  1. 1Institute of New Forestry Technology, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
    2Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
  • Received:2013-12-16 Accepted:2014-03-04 Online:2014-12-16 Published:2014-05-13
  • Contact: WAN Xian-Chong


Aims Our main purposes were to determine the effects of Vigna radiata, a nitrogen fixing plant, on growth, water balance and gas exchange of the intercropping Juglans regia seedlings and to investigate the hydraulic mechanism involved in photosynthesis and growth.
Methods We measured growth, hydraulic characteristics, and rate of gas exchange in J. regia seedlings, and analyzed the effects of the intercropping nitrogen fixing V. radiata on xylem anatomic structure, water balance and photosynthetic characteristics of J. regia seedlings under conditions of nitrogen deprivation and enrichment.
Important findings Under conditions of nitrogen deficiency, the nitrogen fixing V. radiata facilitated the growth of the intercropping J. regia seedlings by improving xylem development, water transport and hydraulic characteristics in high transpiration demand. However, with nitrogen addition, the occurrence of V. radiata inhibited the growth of J. regia seedlings, likely by competing for water and other elements.

Key words: agroforestry intercropping, gas exchanges, growth, nitrogen nutrition, percentage loss of hydraulic conductivity (PLC)