Stoichiometric patterns in foliar nutrient resorption across multiple scales

New Phytologist
By: , and 



*Nutrient resorption is a fundamental process through which plants withdraw nutrients from leaves before abscission. Nutrient resorption patterns have the potential to reflect gradients in plant nutrient limitation and to affect a suite of terrestrial ecosystem functions. *Here, we used a stoichiometric approach to assess patterns in foliar resorption at a variety of scales, specifically exploring how N : P resorption ratios relate to presumed variation in N and/or P limitation and possible relationships between N : P resorption ratios and soil nutrient availability. *N : P resorption ratios varied significantly at the global scale, increasing with latitude and decreasing with mean annual temperature and precipitation. In general, tropical sites (absolute latitudes < 23°26′) had N : P resorption ratios of < 1, and plants growing on highly weathered tropical soils maintained the lowest N : P resorption ratios. Resorption ratios also varied with forest age along an Amazonian forest regeneration chronosequence and among species in a diverse Costa Rican rain forest. *These results suggest that variations in N : P resorption stoichiometry offer insight into nutrient cycling and limitation at a variety of spatial scales, complementing other metrics of plant nutrient biogeochemistry. The extent to which the stoichiometric flexibility of resorption will help regulate terrestrial responses to global change merits further investigation.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Stoichiometric patterns in foliar nutrient resorption across multiple scales
Series title New Phytologist
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04249.x
Volume 196
Issue 1
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 8 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title New Phytologist
First page 173
Last page 180
Country United States
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