Water- and N-induced changes in soil C:N:P stoichiometry and its implications for N limitation of a desert steppe species, Glycyrrhiza uralensis

Juying Huang, Hailong Yu, Fengju Zhang, Ming Li, Henry Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Changes in precipitation patterns and the deposition of atmospheric nitrogen (N) increase the possibility of altering soil carbon (C):N:phosphorus (P) stoichiometry through their effects on soil C and nutrient dynamics, especially in water- and N-limited ecosystems. We conducted separate 2-year watering and N addition experiments, and examined soil C:N:P stoichiometry, relative growth rate, and leaf N resorption traits of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch in a desert steppe of northwestern China. Our objectives were to determine how soil C:N:P stoichiometry responded to climate change, and its indications for plant growth and N resorption. The results showed that additional water increased N loss and thus decreased N availability, resulting in high N resorption from senescing leaves of G. uralensis. N addition increased N availability, consequently reducing plant N dependence on leaf resorption. High relative growth rates occurred with intermediate N:P and C:N ratios, while high N resorption occurred with a low N:P ratio but a high C:N ratio. Our results indicate that soil C:N:P stoichiometry also could be a good indicator of N limitation for desert steppe species. Altered soil C:N:P stoichiometry affects the N strategy of plants, and will be expected to further influence the structure and function of the desert steppe community in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalPolish Journal of Ecology
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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