Comparison of Variability in Leaves and Roots Nutrient Contents of Persian Oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.) in Drought Affected Declining Forests
Keywords:Crown dieback, Drought, Nutrients, Persian oak forests, Zagros Mountain
Drought-induced crown dieback depends on plant nutrient status. This research examined the leaves and roots nutrients of Persian oak trees (Quercus brantii Lindl.) under the effects of drought and tree decline. The leaves and roots of oak trees were sampled randomly on the four main sides of their crown to analyze the N, P, K, Ca, and Mg. In healthy and declining trees, the N, P, and K content in the leaves was higher than in the roots, while the Ca content in the leaves was lower than in roots. The N and P in the roots of healthy trees had decreasing temporal changes, but these elements did not have significant temporal changes in the roots of declining trees. Leaf P showed decreasing temporal changes. The temporal decrease of root N and P and leaf P showed a negative effect of drought on Persian oak trees by reducing their ability to absorb water and nutrients and transfer them to their leaves. The higher concentration of elements in the leaves of oak trees, in addition to showing the decrease in the absorption of elements by the roots from the soil, can indicate a protective mechanism of oak trees against drought stress.