Biomass partitioning and ionomics of Macadamia with high manganese and low phosphorus concentrations

Xin Zhao, Yang Lyu, Qianqian Dong, Xiyong He, Hai Yue, Liping Yang, Liang Tao, Lidan Gong, Hongxu Zheng, Sijie Wen, Hans Lambers, Jianbo Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Knowledge of the ionome of plant organs helps us understand a plant's nutritional status. However, the ionome of Macadamia (Proteaceae), which is an important nut-producing tree, remains unknown. We aimed to characterise the allocation of biomass and nutrient-partitioning patterns in three macadamia genotypes. We excavated 15 productive trees (three cultivars at 21 years of age; two cultivars at 16 years of age) in an orchard. Biomass, nutrient concentrations, and contents of roots, stems, branches, and leaves were analysed. Dry weight of roots, stems, branches and leaves accounted for 14-20%, 19-30%, 36-52%, and 12-18% of total plant weight, respectively. No significant difference was found in the total biomass among the cultivars at the same age. Compared with most crop plants, macadamia had low phosphorus (P) concentrations in all organs (<1 g kg(-1)), and low leaf zinc (Zn) concentration (8 mg kg(-1)). In contrast, macadamia accumulated large amounts of manganese (Mn), with a 20-fold higher leaf Mn concentration than what is considered sufficient for crop plants. Leaves exhibited the highest nutrient concentrations, except for iron and Zn, which exhibited the highest concentrations in roots. The organ-specific ionomics of Macadamia is characterised by low P and high Mn concentrations, associated with adaptation to P-impoverished habitats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-570
Number of pages12
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2023


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