Plant and Soil

, Volume 404, Issue 1–2, pp 113–124 | Cite as

Degradation of litter quality and decline of soil nitrogen mineralization after moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubscens) expansion to neighboring broadleaved forest in subtropical China

  • Qing-ni Song
  • Ming Ouyang
  • Qing-pei Yang
  • Hui Lu
  • Guang-yao Yang
  • Fu-sheng Chen
  • Jian-Min Shi
Regular Article



Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) is a typical native invasive plant imposing serious threats on ecosystem processes and functions. A primary concern is alterations of litter and soil N mineralization in evergreen broadleaved forests coupled with bamboo population expansion.


We conducted a field study to determine the litter production, quality, N resorption efficiency, and soil N mineralization rates in bamboo-dominated forest (BDF) and adjacent uninvaded evergreen broadleaved forest (EBF) in subtropical China.


The mean annual litter production for BDF was 5.82 Mg ha−1, 36.0 % lower than that for EBF (9.09 Mg ha−1). Litter N concentration was also lower, but C: N was higher after bamboo expansion, coupled with higher N resorption efficiency for Moso bamboo and lower litterfall, resulting in potential N return decreasing as much as 60.41 kg N ha−1 yr−1 to the soil. The soil N net nitrification and mineralization rates exhibited lower values in BDF than in EBF. In addition, annual soil N mineralization rate was positively correlated with litter production but negatively with C: N ratio of litter.


Expansion of bamboo into neighboring EBF decreased litter production and quality, reduced soil N mineralization rate, and ultimately retarded N cycling. These effects should be carefully considered in the design of restoration strategies for ecosystems impacted by bamboo species.


Moso bamboo expansion Litter quality Soil N mineralization N resorption efficiency Evergreen broadleaved forest Subtropical China 



Bamboo-dominated forest

C. fargesii

Castanopsis fargesii

C. sclerophylla

Castanopsis sclerophylla


Evergreen broadleaved forest

P. pubescens

Phyllostachys pubescens

Q. chenii

Quercus chenii

S. laurina

Symploco slaurina



We are grateful to the Dagang Mountain National Forest Ecological Station for providing the study sites. We also thank to Rong Wu, Chun-ling Long, Yu-juan He, Pei Xu and Ying-ying Chen for their help with field and laboratory work, two anonymous reviewers and Dr. Chao Wang for their valuable comments and thoughts which greatly improving the manuscript. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31260120 and 31460077) and Jiangxi Provincial Natural Science Foundation (20122BAB20401).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing-ni Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ming Ouyang
    • 2
  • Qing-pei Yang
    • 2
  • Hui Lu
    • 1
  • Guang-yao Yang
    • 2
  • Fu-sheng Chen
    • 2
  • Jian-Min Shi
    • 2
  1. 1.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System ScienceTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory for Bamboo Germplasm Resources and UtilizationJiangxi Agricultural UniversityNanchangPeople’s Republic of China

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