Population variability and comparative analysis of macroelement concentrations in pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) leaves and surrounding soils
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The concentration of macroelements in plant biomass is determined by nutrient uptake from the soil and depends on the spatially variable environmental conditions and nutrition status in the soil. The aim of this study was to examine the macroelement concentrations in pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) leaves and to compare them with soil heterogeneity. ANOVA, MANOVA and discriminant canonical analysis (CDA) were used to estimate population variability in the macroelement concentrations in pedunculate oak leaves and surrounding soil. The results of ANOVA revealed a statistically significant difference between populations -in ash content, N, Ca, Mg, P, and all nitrogen scaled variables (all P < 0.05) in Q. robur leaves. MANOVA revealed a statistically significantly difference between populations -in soil pH, P2O5 and K2O concentrations (all P < 0.05). The P in Q. robur leaves had the highest total canonical standardized coefficients on the first canonical variable (CDA1) and was responsible for discrimination between populations. Foliar analysis of pedunculate oak leaves and soil analysis showed statistically significant spatial variability in macroelement concentrations between populations in Serbia, which were determined by the bioavailability of essential minerals in the soil.