Research Article Open Access

Stable Nitrogen Isotopic Changes in Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Induced by its Growth Temperature

Zhou Feng Wang1, Wei Guo Liu2 and Rui Juan Hao3
  • 1 Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effect in Arid Region of Ministry of Education, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Chang an University, Xi’ an, China
  • 2 Xi’ an Jiaotong University, Xi’ an, China
  • 3 State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, IEE, CAS, Xi’ an, China


The nitrogen dynamics of plants can be quantified using the variation in their δ15N level. This reveals details of plant physiological characteristics and the relationship between plants and their growth conditions. To better understand plant nitrogen dynamics and the effects of external temperature changes on their nitrogen isotopic composition, we investigated the δ15N characteristics in Triticum aestivum and its mother soils during the plant's life cycle. We found that under field conditions, the plant's leaves and roots δ15N significantly changed. The δ15N values in Triticum aestivum changed from -1.6‰ to -8.1‰ for leaves and from -2.0‰ to -8.8‰ for roots, respectively. δ15N values for both, the leaves and roots were positively correlated with temperature. However, the foliar δ15N corresponded more strongly to air temperature, while the root δ15N corresponded to soil temperature. δ15N values of leaf and root both changed around 0.2‰ in response to a 1 degree change in temperature. Plant roots or shoot material cannot reflect the whole plant δ15N values due to a considerable difference between the δ15N values of root and leaf. However, the variations in leaf and root δ15N provide useful proxies to trace seasonal plant nitrogen cycles.

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 12 No. 1, 2017, 18-27


Submitted On: 23 April 2016 Published On: 21 March 2017

How to Cite: Wang, Z. F., Liu, W. G. & Hao, R. J. (2017). Stable Nitrogen Isotopic Changes in Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Induced by its Growth Temperature. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 12(1), 18-27.

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  • Nitrogen Isotopic
  • Winter Wheat
  • Root
  • Leaf
  • Temperature
  • Wheat Ecophysiology