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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 103878, 10 pages
Research Article

Clone-Specific Response in Leaf Nitrate Reductase Activity among Unrelated Hybrid Poplars in relation to Soil Nitrate Availability

1Fiducie de Recherche sur la Forêt des Cantons-de-l'Est, Eastern Townships Forest Research Trust, 1 Rue Principale, St-Benoît-du-Lac, QC, Canada J0B 2M0
2Centre d'Étude de la Forêt (CEF), Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8
3Department of Biology, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK, Canada S4S 0A2
4Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8

Received 17 September 2012; Accepted 26 October 2012

Academic Editor: Guy R. Larocque

Copyright © 2012 Julien Fortier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this field study, we used in vivo NRA activity in hybrid poplar leaves as an indicator of assimilation for five unrelated hybrid poplar clones. We also examined if leaf NRA of these clones is influenced to the same extent by different levels of soil availability in two riparian agroforestry systems located in pastures. Leaf NRA differences of more than one order of magnitude were observed between the clones, clearly showing their different abilities to reduce in leaves. Clone DxN-3570, a P. deltoides x P. nigra hybrid (Aigeiros intrasectional hybrid), always had the highest leaf NRA during the field assays. This clone was also the only one to increase its leaf NRA with increasing soil availability, which resulted in a significant Site x Clone interaction and a positive relationship between soil concentration and NRA. All of the four other clones studied had one or both parental species from the Tacamahaca section. They had relatively low leaf NRA and they did not increase their leaf NRA when grown on the rich site. These results provide evidence that assimilation in leaves varies widely among hybrid poplars of different parentages, suggesting potential preferences for N forms.