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Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 21;8(1):3400. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21565-w.

Phosphorus addition changes belowground biomass and C:N:P stoichiometry of two desert steppe plants under simulated N deposition.

Huang J1,2, Yu H3,4, Liu J1,2, Luo C1,2, Sun Z1,2,5, Ma K5, Kang Y5, Du Y5.

Author information

1
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, 750021, China.
2
Ningxia (China-Arab) Key Laboratory of Resource Assessment and Environment Regulation in Arid Region, Yinchuan, 750021, China.
3
Ningxia (China-Arab) Key Laboratory of Resource Assessment and Environment Regulation in Arid Region, Yinchuan, 750021, China. yhl@nxu.edu.cn.
4
College of Resources and Environment, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, 750021, China. yhl@nxu.edu.cn.
5
College of Resources and Environment, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, 750021, China.

Abstract

Many studies have reported that increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition broadens N:phosphorus (P) in both soils and plant leaves and potentially intensifies P limitation for plants. However, few studies have tested whether P addition alleviates N-induced P limitation for plant belowground growth. It is also less known how changed N:P in soils and leaves affect plant belowground stoichiometry, which is significant for maintaining key belowground ecological processes. We conducted a multi-level N:P supply experiment (varied P levels combined with constant N amount) for Glycyrrhiza uralensis (a N fixing species) and Pennisetum centrasiaticum (a grass) from a desert steppe in Northwest China during 2011-2013. Results showed that increasing P addition increased the belowground biomass and P concentrations of both species, resulting in the decreases in belowground carbon (C):P and N:P. These results indicate that P inputs alleviated N-induced P limitation and hence stimulated belowground growth. Belowground C:N:P stoichiometry of both species, especially P. centrasiaticum, tightly linked to soil and green leaf C:N:P stoichiometry. Thus, the decoupling of C:N:P ratios in both soils and leaves under a changing climate could directly alter plant belowground stoichiometry, which will in turn have important feedbacks to primary productivity and C sequestration.

PMID:
29467375
PMCID:
PMC5821873
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-018-21565-w
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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