High doses of ethylenediurea (EDU) as soil drenches did not increase leaf N content or cause phytotoxicity in willow grown in fertile soil
Abstract Ground-level ozone (O 3 ) levels are nowadays elevated in wide regions of the Earth, causing significant effects on plants that finally lead to suppressed productivity and yield losses. Ethylenediurea (EDU) is a chemical compound which is widely used in research projects as phytoprotectant against O 3 injury. The EDU mode of action remains still unclear, while there are indications that EDU may contribute to plants with nitrogen (N) when the soil is poor in N and the plants have relatively small leaf area. To reveal whether the N content of EDU acts as a fertilizer to plants when the soil is not poor in N and the plants have relatively large total plant leaf area, willow plants ( Salix sachalinensis Fr. Schm) were exposed to low ambient O 3 levels and treated ten times (9-day interval) with 200mL soil drench containing 0, 800 or 1600mg EDU L −1 . Fertilizer was added to a nutrient-poor soil, and the plants had an average plant leaf area of 9.1m 2 at the beginning of EDU treatments. Indications for EDU-induced hormesis in maximum electron transport rate ( J max ) and ratio of intercellular to ambient CO 2 concentration ( C i :C a ) were observed at the end of the experiment. No other EDU-induced effects on leaf greenness and N content, maximum quantum yield of photosystem II ( F v /F m ), gas exchange, growth and matter production suggest that EDU did not act as N fertilizer and did not cause toxicity under these experimental conditions. Highlights There were signs for EDU-induced hormesis in physiological traits of a willow. EDU high doses did not contribute to willow plants with N. There were no obvious toxicity symptoms by such high EDU doses. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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