Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

An analysis of intertaxa differences in sulfur concentration in angiosperms.

Abstract

Understanding the behavior of sulfur (S) in the soil-plant system is important for crop production, for predicting the movement of the radioisotope 35S in the environment, and for investigating the role of S in plant metabolism of xenobiotics. A database of relative mean S concentrations in 121 species of flowering plants was constructed using a Residual Maximum Likelihood (REML) procedure with new experimental data for 76 species and literature data for 57 species, there being 12 species in common. The relative mean S concentrations in plant species were normally distributed and their range greater than previously reported for S concentrations between plant species. There was a significant phylogenetic effect on S concentrations when they were analyzed using a nested ANOVA coded with a recent phylogeny of flowering plants. About 36% of the variance between species was associated with the rank of Order and above. At the rank of Order, S concentrations were Brassicales > Malphigiales > Lamiales > Rosales > Caryophyllales > Malvales > Poales > Fabales > Fagales > Asterales. Experiments to quantify intervarietal differences within Beta vulgaris, Triticum aestivum, and Cicer arietinum revealed that these reached a maximum in B. vulgaris at about 20% of those found at the species level and above. A comparison of relative mean S concentrations with previously reported relative mean concentrations for heavy metals suggested correlations between S and cadmium (Cd), and S and zinc (Zn). The frequency distributions and phylogenetic effects reported here are useful to understanding soil-plant transfer of stable and radioactive S isotopes in agricultural and natural ecosystems and might aid investigations of plant response to xenobiotics.