Advertisement

Plant uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus among grassland species affected by drought along a soil available phosphorus gradient

Abstract

Aims

Here we assessed N and P uptake of four grassland species grown together in response to a short-term drought event along a soil P gradient.

Methods

We used 15N and 32P tracers to examine uptake of N and P by the grasses Bothriochloa macra, Themeda triandra, Lolium perenne and Microlaena stipoides grown together in pots with initial available P levels of 3, 8, 12, 20 mg P kg−1 soil. Soil moisture in half the pots was reduced from 60 to 30% water holding capacity during a 7-day period to simulate drought.

Results

Plant P uptake was strongly reduced by drought in all species across all P levels, much more so than N uptake, indicating decoupling in N and P uptake. Soil available P (Bray method) was not affected by drought, suggesting that the reduced P uptake with drought was due to reduced soil P mobility. Plant competition for N and P changed with drought and soil P levels, where relatively more N and P was taken up with drought by M. stipoides at the lowest soil P level.

Conclusions

We showed that greater reductions in P than in N uptake and shifts in N and P uptake among species caused by a short-term drought have strong consequences for plant growth.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Alam SM (1999) Nutrient uptake by plants under stress conditions. In: Pessarakli M (ed) Handbook of plant and crop stress. Marcel Dekker, New York

  2. Andresen L, Michelsen A, Jonasson S, Schmidt I, Mikkelsen T, Ambus P, Beier C (2010) Plant nutrient mobilization in temperate heathland responds to elevated CO2, temperature and drought. Plant Soil 328:381–396

  3. Belnap J (2011) Biological phosphorus cycling in dryland regions. In: Bünemann EK, Oberson A, Frossard E (eds) Phosphorus in action. Springer, Berlin, pp 37–406

  4. Campbell BD, Stafford Smith DM (2000) A synthesis of recent global change research on pasture and rangeland production: reduced uncertainties and their management implications. Agric Ecosyst Environ 82:39–55

  5. Chapin FS III, Fetcher N, Kielland K, Everett KR, Linkins AE (1988) Productivity and nutrient cycling of Alaskan tundra: enhancement by flowing soil water. Ecology 69:693–702

  6. Ciais P, Reichstein M, Viovy N, Granier A, Ogee J, Allard V, Aubinet M, Buchmann N, Bernhofer C, Carrara A, Chevallier F, De Noblet N, Friend AD, Friedlingstein P, Grunwald T, Heinesch B, Keronen P, Knohl A, Krinner G, Loustau D, Manca G, Matteucci G, Miglietta F, Ourcival JM, Papale D, Pilegaard K, Rambal S, Seufert G, Soussana JF, Sanz MJ, Schulze ED, Vesala T, Valentini R (2005) Europe-wide reduction in primary productivity caused by the heat and drought in 2003. Nature 437:529–533

  7. Dijkstra FA, Pendall E, Morgan JA, Blumenthal DM, Carrillo Y, LeCain DR, Follett RF, Williams DG (2012) Climate change alters stoichiometry of phosphorus and nitrogen in a semiarid grassland. New Phytol 196:807–815

  8. Dijkstra FA, He M, Johansen MP, Harrison JJ, Keitel C (2015) Plant and microbial uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus affected by drought using 15N and 32P tracers. Soil Biol Biochem 82:135–142

  9. Elser JJ, Bracken MES, Cleland EE, Gruner DS, Harpole WS, Hillebrand H, Ngai JT, Seabloom EW, Shurin JB, Smith JE (2007) Global analysis of nitrogen and phosphorus limitation of primary producers in freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Ecol Lett 10:1135–1142

  10. Güsewell S (2004) N : P ratios in terrestrial plants: variation and functional significance. New Phytol 164:243–266

  11. Gustafsson JP, Mwamila LB, Kergoat K (2012) The pH dependence of phospate sorption and desoprtion in Swedish agriscultural soils. Geoderma 189-190:304–311

  12. Harpole WS, Ngai JT, Cleland EE, Seabloom EW, Borer ET, Bracken MES, Elser JJ, Gruner DS, Hillebrand H, Shurin JB, Smith JE (2011) Nutrient co-limitation of primary producer communities. Ecol Lett 14:852–862

  13. He M, Dijkstra FA (2014) Drought effect on plant nitrogen and phosphorus: a meta-analysis. New Phytol 204:924–931

  14. Heisler-White JL, Blair JM, Kelly EF, Harmoney K, Knapp AK (2009) Contingent productivity responses to more extreme rainfall regimes across a grassland biome. Glob Change Biol 15:2894–2904

  15. Hill JO, Simpson RJ, Moore AD, Chapman DF (2006) Morphology and response of roots of pasture species to phosphorus and nitrogen nutrition. Plant Soil 286:7–19

  16. Hinojosa MB, Parra A, Ramírez DA, Carreira JA, García-Ruiz R, Moreno JM (2012) Effects of drought on soil phosphorus availability and fluxes in a burned Mediterranean shrubland. Geoderma 191:61–69

  17. Homyak PM, Allison SD, Huxman TE, Goulden ML, Treseder KK (2017) Effects of drought manipulation on soil nitrogen cycling: a meta-analysis. J Geophys Res Biogeosci 122:3260–3272

  18. Isbell RF (2002) The Australian soil classification. CSIRO Pub, Collingwood, Vic, Aus

  19. Jackson ML (1958) Soil chemical analsysis. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs

  20. Jiao F, Shi XR, Han FP, Yuan ZY (2016) Increasing aridity, temperature and soil pH induce soil C-N-P imbalance in grasslands. Sci Rep 6:19601

  21. Jung V, Albert CH, Violle C, Kunstler G, Loucougaray G, Spiegelberger T (2014) Intraspecific trait variability mediates the response of subalpine grassland communities to extreme drought events. J Ecol 102:45–53

  22. Lambers H, Chapin FS III, Pons TL (2008) Plant physiological ecology. Springer Science, New York, NY, USA

  23. L'Annuziata FM (2012) Handbook of radioactivity analysis. Academic Press, San Diego, USA

  24. Li Y, Niu S, Yu G (2016) Aggravated phosphorus limitation on biomass production under increasing nitrogen loading: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 22:934–943

  25. Luo W, Elser JJ, Lü XT, Wang Z, Bai E, Yan C, Wang C, Li MH, Zimmermann NE, Han X, Xu Z, Li H, Wu Y, Jiang Y (2015) Plant nutrients do not covary with soil nutrients under changing climatic conditions. Glob Biogeochem Cycl 29:1298–1308

  26. Luo W, Xu C, Ma W, Yue X, Liang X, Zuo X, Knapp AK, Smith MD, Sardans J, Dijkstra FA, Peñuelas J, Bai Y, Wang Z, Yu Q, Han X (2018) Effects of extreme drought on plant nutrient uptake and resorption in rhizomatous vs bunchgrass-dominated grasslands. Oecologia 188:633–643

  27. Luo W, Zuo X, Griffin-Nolan RJ, Xu C, Ma W, Song L, Helsen K, Lin Y, Cai J, Yu Q, Wang Z, Smith MD, Han X, Knapp AK (2019) Long term experimental drought alters community plant trait variation, not trait means, across three semiarid grasslands. Plant Soil 442:343–353.

  28. Mariotte P, Canarini A, Dijkstra FA (2017) Stoichiometric N:P flexibility and mycorrhizal symbiosis favour plant resistance against drought. J Ecol 105:958–967

  29. Minoletti ML, Boerner REJ (1994) Drought and site fertility effects on foliar nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics and nutrient resorption by the forest understory shrub Viburnum acerifolium L. Am Midl Nat 131:109–119

  30. Öhlinger R (2012) Methods in soil physics. In: Schinner F, Öhlinger R, Kandeler E, Margesin R (eds) Methods in soil biology. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  31. Olsen SR, Sommers LE (1982) Phosphorus. In: Pace AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis part 2 chemical and microbiological properties, 2nd edn. American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Madison

  32. Peuke AD, Rennenberg H (2004) Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and Sulphur concentration and partitioning in beech ecotypes (Fagus sylvatica L.): phosphorus most affected by drought. Trees 18:639–648

  33. Ryalls JMW, Moore BD, Johnson SN, Connor M, Hiltpold I (2018) Root responses to domestication, precipitation and silicification: weeping meadow grass simplifies and alters toughness. Plant Soil 427:291–304

  34. Sardans J, Peñuelas J (2004) Increasing drought decreases phosphorus availability in an evergreen Mediterranean forest. Plant Soil 267:367–377

  35. Solaiman Z, Marschner P, Wang D, Rengel Z (2007) Growth, P uptake and rhizosphere properties of wheat and canola genotypes in an alkaline soil with low P availability. Biol Fert Soils 44:143–153

  36. Stafford J (1996) Weeping rice-grass (Microlaena stipoides), species information sheet. Native Grass Resources Group Inc. September 1996. Mount lofty ranges catchment Centre, Mount Barker South Australia 5251

  37. Stark JM, Hart SC (1996) Diffusion technique for preparing salt solutions, Kjeldahl digests, and persulfate digests for nitrogen-15 analysis. Soil Sci Soc Am J 60:1846–1855

  38. Sterner RW, Elser JJ (2002) Ecological stoichiometry. The biology of elements from molecules to the biosphere. Princeton University Press, Princeton

  39. Suriyagoda LDB, Ryan MH, Renton M, Lambers H (2014) Plant responses to limited moisture and phosphorus availability: a meta-analysis. Adv Agron 124:143–200

  40. Tezara W, Mitchell VJ, Driscoll SD, Lawlor DW (1999) Water stress inhibits plant photosynthesis by decreasing coupling factor and ATP. Nature 401:914–917

  41. Vitra A, Deléglise C, Meisser M, Risch AC, Signarbieux C, Lamacque L, Delzon S, Buttler A, Mariotte P (2019) Responses of plant leaf economic and hydraulic traits mediate the effects of early- and late-season drought on grassland productivity. AoB PLANTS 11:plz023

  42. Yu Q, Chen Q, Elser JJ, He N, Wu H, Zhang G, Wu J, Bai Y, Han X (2010) Linking stoichiometric homoeostasis with ecosystem structure, functioning and stability. Ecol Lett 13:1390–1399

  43. Yu Q, Wilcox K, Pierre KL, Knapp AK, Han X, Smith MD (2015) Stoichiometric homeostasis predicts plant species dominance, temporal stability, and responses to global change. Ecology 96:2328–2335

Download references

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by an Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Award (ALNGRA15209) awarded to FAD in 2015. PM was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (n°P300P3_154648).

Author information

Correspondence to Pierre Mariotte.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Responsible Editor: Felipe E. Albornoz.

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(PDF 484 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mariotte, P., Cresswell, T., Johansen, M.P. et al. Plant uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus among grassland species affected by drought along a soil available phosphorus gradient. Plant Soil (2020) doi:10.1007/s11104-019-04407-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Grassland species
  • Nutrient homeostasis
  • Nutrient limitation
  • Nutrient stoichiometry
  • Plant nutrient uptake
  • Stable isotope labelling
  • Water stress