Silicon enhancement of estimated plant biomass carbon accumulation under abiotic and biotic stresses. A meta-analysis

  • Zichuan Li
  • Zhaoliang SongEmail author
  • Zhifeng Yan
  • Qian Hao
  • Alin Song
  • Linan Liu
  • Xiaomin Yang
  • Shaopan Xia
  • Yongchao LiangEmail author
Review Article


Abiotic and biotic stresses are the major factors limiting plant growth worldwide. Plants exposed to abiotic and biotic stresses often cause reduction in plant biomass as well as crop yield, resulting in plant biomass carbon loss. As a beneficial and quasi-essential element, silicon accumulation in rhizosphere and plants can alleviate the unfavorable effects of the major forms of abiotic and biotic stress through several resistance mechanisms and thus increases plant biomass accumulation and crop yield. The beneficial effects of silicon on plant growth and crop yield have been widely reviewed over the last years. However, carbon accumulation of silicon-associated plant biomass under abiotic and biotic stresses has not yet been systematically addressed. This review article focuses on both the main mechanisms of silicon-mediated alleviation of abiotic and biotic stresses and their effects on plant biomass carbon accumulation in terrestrial ecosystems. The major points are the following: (1) the recovery of plant biomass via silicon mediation usually exhibits a bell-shaped response curve to abiotic stress severity and an S-shaped response curve to biotic stress severity; (2) although carbon concentration of plant biomass decreases with silicon accumulation, more than 96% of the recovered plant biomass contributes to plant biomass carbon accumulation; (3) silicon-mediated recovery generally increases plant biomass carbon by 35% and crop yield by 24%. In conclusion, silicon can improve plant growth and enhance plant biomass carbon accumulation under abiotic and biotic stresses in terrestrial ecosystems.


Abiotic stresses Biotic stresses Carbon accumulation Plant biomass restoration Silicon 


Funding information

We acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Approval Nos. 41522207, 41571130042, 31572191,and 31772387) and the State’s Key Project of Research and Development Plan of China (2016YFA0601002).


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Surface-Earth System ScienceTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Crop Nutrition and Fertilization, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional PlanningChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental and Resource SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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