Advertisement

Climate, plant organs and species control dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus in fresh litter in a subalpine forest on the eastern Tibetan Plateau

  • Yu Zhang
  • Jiaping Yang
  • Wanqin Yang
  • Bo Tan
  • Changkun Fu
  • Fuzhong Wu
Research Paper

Abstract

Key message

Fresh litter contains a higher concentration of dissolved phosphorus (DP) than dissolved nitrogen (DN), which implies a more efficient DN transformation or reabsorption in the subalpine forest on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Both DN and DP concentrations increased with the increase of mean monthly temperature, although the concentrations were also regulated by plant organs and species.

Context

The dissolved nitrogen (DN) and dissolved phosphorus (DP) released from fresh litter are important pathways by which total nitrogen and phosphorus are transferred from the vegetation to soil in forest ecosystems. However, few studies have paid attention to the DN and DP in fresh litter, which affects our understanding of the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles.

Aims

The objectives of this study were to elucidate the dynamic characteristics of the concentrations and storage of DN and DP, and to analyze how DN and DP are affected by different plant species and organs, and climate factors.

Methods

Fresh litter was collected in three plots in a spruce-fir forest and classified by different plant species and organs. Concentration and storage of DN and DP in fresh litter were determined and related to the climatic variables that were monthly recorded.

Results

The concentration of DP was higher than that of DN in fresh litter, and the concentrations of both elements were determined by plant organs and species. Moreover, The DN and DP concentration was positively related to mean monthly temperature, while DN and DP storage was negatively correlated with mean monthly temperature and monthly precipitation. The storage of DN and DP was determined by litter biomass, which the order in litter from different plant organs was leaves>twigs>miscellaneous>flowers and fruits. The storage of DN and DP in leaves showed two peaks in April and October, but that in twigs and the miscellaneous showed only one peak in October.

Conclusion

Our results indicated that dissolved nitrogen (DN) is transferred and reabsorbed more than dissolved phosphorus (DP) before plant leaf senescence and other organs fall. Furthermore, DN and DP were associated with climate, plant organs and species in a subalpine forest on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

Keywords

Fresh litter Dissolved nitrogen Dissolved phosphorus Climate Plant organs and species Subalpine forest 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the chief editor Dr. Erwin Dreyer, the handing editor, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the early versions of the manuscript. We are also grateful to Dr. Chengming You, Mr. Ziyi Liang, Mr. Junwei Wu, Mr. juyi Hu and Mr. Zhuang Wang for their help with field sampling and the laboratory analyses. We are grateful to American Journal Experts for editing the language of the article.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31622018, 31670526 and 31570445) and the Sichuan Provincial Science and Technology Project for the Youth Innovation Team (2017TD0022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Adair EC, Parton WJ, Grosso SJD, Silver WL, Harmon ME, Hall SA, Burke IC, Hart SC (2008) Simple three-pool model accurately describes patterns of long-term litter decomposition in diverse climates. Glob Chang Biol 14(11):2636–2660Google Scholar
  2. Alcázar R, Altabella T, Marco F, Bortolotti C, Reymond M, Koncz C, Carrasco P, Tiburcio AF (2010) Polyamines: molecules with regulatory functions in plant abiotic stress tolerance. Planta 231(6):1237–1249CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Berg B (2014) Decomposition patterns for foliar litter—a theory for influencing factors. Soil Biol Biochem 78:222–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cleveland CC, Neff JC, Townsend AR, Hood E (2004) Composition, dynamics, and fate of leached dissolved organic matter in terrestrial ecosystems: results from a decomposition experiment. Ecosystems 7(3):175–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chang YQ, Zhong D, Cheng XU, Chao B, Bo HU, Zhi Z (2013) Stoichiometric 300 characteristics of C,N,P and their distribution pattern in plants of Castanopsis carlesii natural 301 forest in Youxi. J Plant Res Environ 22(3):1–10Google Scholar
  6. Fu C, Yang WQ, Tan B, Xu ZF, Zhang Y, Yang JP, Wu FZ (2017) Seasonal dynamics of litterfall in a sub-alpine spruce-fir forest on the eastern tibetan plateau: allometric scaling relationships based on one year of observations. Forests 8(9):314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Güsewell S (2004) N:P ratios in terrestrial plants: variation and functional significance. New Phytol 164(2):243–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Goller R, Wilcke W, Fleischbein K, Valarezo C, Zech W (2006) Dissolved nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur forms in the ecosystem fluxes of a Montane Forest in Ecuador. Biogeochemistry 77(1):57–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Han W, Fang J, Guo D, Zhang Y (2005) Leaf nitrogen and phosphorus stoichiometry across 753 terrestrial plant species in China. New Phytol 168:377–385CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hafner SD, Groffman PM, Mitchell MJ (2005) Leaching of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, and other solutes from coarse woody debris and litter in a mixed forest in New York State. Biogeochemistry 74(2):257–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. He W, Wu FZ, Yang WQ, Zhang D, Xu Z, Tan B, Zhao Y, Justine MF (2015) Gap locations influence the release of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in two shrub foliar litter in an alpine fir forest. Sci Rep 6:22014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huang CD, Jian Z, Yang WQ, Xiao T (2008) Dynamics on forest carbon stock in Sichuan Province and Chongqing City. Acta Ecol Sin 28(3):0966–0975Google Scholar
  13. Li ZW, Yan WD, Zheng W, Liang XC, Wang GJ, Zhu F (2013) Litter fall production and nutrient dynamic of Cinnamomum camphora and Pinus massoniana mixed forests in subtropics China. Acta Ecol Sin 33(24):7707–7714Google Scholar
  14. Liao S, Yang WQ, Tan Y, Peng Y, Li J, Tan B, Wu FZ (2015) Soil fauna affects dissolved carbon and nitrogen in foliar litter in alpine forest and alpine meadow. PLoS One 10(9):e0139099CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Mcdowell WH, Zsolnay A, Aitkenhead-Peterson JA, Gregorich EG, Jones DL, Jödemann D, Kalbitz K, Marschner B, Schwesig D (2006) A comparison of methods to determine the biodegradable dissolved organic carbon from different terrestrial sources. Soil Biol Biochem 38(7):1933–1942CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Michalzik B, Kalbitz K, Solinger S, Matzner E (2001) Fluxes and concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen: a synthesis for temperate forests. Biogeochemistry 52(2):173–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mosher JJ, Kaplan LA, Podgorski DC, Mckenna AM, Marshall AG (2015) Longitudinal shifts in dissolved organic matter chemogeography and chemodiversity within headwater streams: a river continuum reprise. Biogeochemistry 124(1):371–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Neff JC, Asner GP (2001) Dissolved organic carbon in terrestrial ecosystems: synthesis and a model. Ecosystems 4(1):29–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ni XY, Yang WQ, Tan B, He J, Xu L, Li H, Wu FZ (2015) Accelerated foliar litter humification in forest gaps: dual feedbacks of carbon sequestration during winter and the growing season in an alpine forest. Geoderma 241-242:136–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Oheimb GV, Power SA, Falk K, Friedrich U, Mohamed A, Krug A, Boschatzke N, Härdtle W (2010) N:P ratio and the nature of nutrient limitation in Calluna-dominated heathlands. Ecosystems 13(2):317–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Oyarzabal M, Paruelo JM, Fdel P, Oesterheld M, Lauenroth WK (2008) Trait differences between grass species along a climatic gradient in south and north America. J Veg Sci 19(2):183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Preston CM, Nault JR, Trofymow JA, Smyth C (2009) Chemical changes during 6 years of decomposition of 11 litters in some Canadian forest sites. Part 1. Elemental composition, tannins, phenolics, and proximate fractions. Ecosystems 12(7):1053–1077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Reich PB, Oleksyn J (2004) Global patterns of plant leaf n and p in relation to temperature and latitude. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(30):11001–11006CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Shaunam U, Robertg Q, Juliane L (2009) Production of total potentially soluble organic C, N, and P across an ecosystem chronosequence: root versus leaf litter. Ecosystems 12(2):240–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Simon D, Jeannicolas B (2007) Biological and ecological characteristics of invasive species: a gammarid study. Biol Invasions 9(1):13–24Google Scholar
  26. Soong JL, Calderón FJ, Betzen J, Cotrufo MF (2014) Quantification and FTIR characterization of dissolved organic carbon and total dissolved nitrogen leached from litter: a comparison of methods across litter types. Plant Soil 385(1):125–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Uselman SM, Qualls RG, Lilienfein J (2009) Production of total potentially soluble organic C, N, and P across an ecosystem chronosequence: root versus leaf litter. Ecosystems 12(2):240–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang B, Wu FZ, Xiao S, Yang WQ, Justine MF, He J, Tan B (2016) Effect of succession gaps on the understory water-holding capacity in an over-mature alpine forest at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Hydrol Process 30(5):692–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Xu L, Yang W, Li H, Ni X, He J, Wu F (2014) Effects of forest gap on soluble nitrogen and soluble phosphorus of foliar litter decomposition in an alpine forest. J Soil & Water Conserv 28(3):214–221Google Scholar
  30. Xu WM, Yan WD, Li JB, Zhao J, Wang GJ (2013) Amount and dynamic characteristics of litterfall in four forest types in subtropical China. Acta Ecol Sin 33(23):7570–7575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yang XX, Ji C, Liu H, Ma W, Mohhammat A, Shi Z, Wang X, Yu S, Yue M (2016) Variations of leaf N and P concentrations in shrubland biomes across northern China: phylogeny, climate, and soil. Biogeosci Discuss 12(22):18973–18998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yuan ZQ, Li BH, Bai XJ, Lin F, Shi S, Ye J, Wang XG, Hao ZQ (2010) Composition and seasonal dynamics of litter falls in a broad-leaved Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) mixed forest in Changbai Mountains, Northeast China. Chin J Appl Ecol 21(8):2171–2178Google Scholar
  33. Yuan ZY, Chen HY (2009a) Global trends in senesced-leaf nitrogen and phosphorus. Global Ecol Biogeogr 18(5):532–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yuan ZY, Chen HY (2009b) Global-scale patterns of nutrient resorption associated with latitude, temperature and precipitation. Global Ecol Biogeogr 18(1):11–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhang XP, Wang XP, Zhu B, Zong ZJ, Peng CH, Fang JY (2008) Litter fall production in relation to environmental factors in northeast China’s forests. J Plant Ecol 32(5):1031–1040Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Zhang
    • 1
  • Jiaping Yang
    • 1
  • Wanqin Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bo Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Changkun Fu
    • 1
  • Fuzhong Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Long-term Research Station of Alpine Forest Ecosystem, Provincial Key Laboratory of Ecological Forestry Engineering, Institute of Ecology and ForestrySichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Centre of Ecological Security in the Upper Reaches of the Yangtze RiverChengduPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations