Accumulation and precipitation of magnesium, calcium, and sulfur in two Acacia (Leguminosae; Mimosoideae) species grown in different substrates proposed for mine-site rehabilitation

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Abstract

© 2015 Botanical Society of America. • Premise of the study: Few studies have investigated the effects of substrates on the accumulation and precipitation of magnesium, calcium, and sulfur in plants. Acacia stipuligera and A. robeorum growing in their natural habitats with different substrates show different accumulation and precipitation patterns of these elements. Here, we compared the accumulation and precipitation of magnesium, calcium, and sulfur in A. stipuligera and A. robeorum grown in different substrates proposed for mine-site rehabilitation and expected the differences in substrates to have significant effects on the accumulation and precipitation of these elements in the two species. • Methods: Saplings were grown in sandy topsoil or in a topsoil–siltstone mixture in a glasshouse. Phyllode magnesium, calcium, and sulfur concentrations of 25-wk-old plants were measured. Precipitation of these elements in phyllodes and branchlets was investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy. • Key results: Phyllode magnesium, calcium, and sulfur concentrations were generally significantly greater in A. robeorum than in A. stipuligera . The two species responded in unique ways to the substrate, with A. stipuligera having similar phyllode magnesium and calcium concentrations in both substrates, but greater sulfur concentration in the topsoil–siltstone mixture, while A. robeorum showed lower phyllode magnesium, calcium, and sulfur concentrations in the topsoil–siltstone mixture. For both substrates, mineral precipitates were observed in both species, with A. robeorum having more mineral precipitates containing magnesium, calcium, and sulfur in its phyllodes than A. stipuligera did. • Conclusions: The accumulation and precipitation patterns of magnesium, calcium, and sulfur are more species-specific than substrate-affected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-301
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume102
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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