Understory Junipers, and Light Environment Effects on Biomass, Chemical Composition, and Nutrient Contents of Black Pine Seedlings
Keywords:Bioactive constituent, Growth, Nutrient, Photosynthetic pigments, Pinus nigra
In forest environments, the establishment, survival, and recruitment of seedlings of desired species can often be influenced by biotic interactions between the competing understory shrubs and the seedlings, as well as by the understory light environment. Previous studies regarding competing effects were mostly focused on the survival and growth of seedlings, but it is still largely unclear how competition with shrubs impacts the biomass of the seedlings and physiological traits connected to photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism in various forest ecosystems. Moreover, there is limited knowledge on the influence of light conditions on the biomass of understory seedlings is limited for different species. The main objectives of this study were to examine the effects of understory junipers and light conditions on the above and belowground biomass of black pine seedlings (Pinus nigra Arnold). This study also examined the changes in chemical composition and plant nutrient contents in the organs of black pine seedlings (i.e., root, stem, and needle) with the presence of junipers in the understory. Seedling biomass was significantly affected by understory light conditions, while the presence of junipers negatively affected the root-biomass of black pine seedlings. Moreover, understory junipers influenced some photosynthetic pigments in black pine seedlings.