Nutrient resorption helps drive intra-specific coupling of foliar nitrogen and phosphorus under nutrient-enriched conditions

Plant and Soil
By: , and 

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Abstract

Aims

Plant biomass growth, storage, and decomposition connect nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles, yet we know relatively little about the dynamics of such coupling under nutrient enriched conditions, and our understanding of the interactive relationships between plant N and P in drylands remains particularly poor.

Methods

In a semiarid steppe of northern China, we examined the effects of single and combined N and P additions on soil and plant N and P pools for both mature and senesced leaves in two dominant grasses: Leymus chinensis and Stipa grandis.

Results

Nitrogen additions increased N concentrations in mature and senesced leaves for each plant species, and decreased N and P resorption during leaf senescence. The effects of N additions on foliar P concentrations were species-specific, while P additions had no effect on any nutrient characteristics examined. Due to treatment effects on N resorption, N and P concentrations were tightly correlated in senesced leaves but not in mature leaves.

Conclusions

Taken together, the results suggest plants in this ecosystem are much more responsive to changing N cycles than P cycles and emphasize the significance of nutrient resorption as an important plant control over the stoichiometric coupling of N and P under nutrient enriched conditions.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nutrient resorption helps drive intra-specific coupling of foliar nitrogen and phosphorus under nutrient-enriched conditions
Series title Plant and Soil
DOI 10.1007/s11104-015-2642-y
Volume 398
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 111
Last page 120
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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