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Soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus ecological stoichiometry shifts with tree species in subalpine plantations.


ABSTRACT: Understanding ecological stoichiometric characteristics of soil nutrient elements, such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) is crucial to guide ecological restoration of plantations in ecologically vulnerable areas, such as alpine and subalpine regions. However, there has been only a few related studies, and thus whether and how different tree species would affect soil C:N:P ecological stoichiometry remains unclear. We compared soil C:N:P ecological stoichiometry of Pinus tabulaeformis, Larix kaempferi and Cercidiphyllum japonicum to primary shrubland in a subalpine region. We observed strong tree-specific and depth-dependent effects on soil C:N:P stoichiometry in subalpine plantations. In general, the C:N, C:P and N:P of topsoil (0-10 cm) are higher than subsoil (>10 cm) layer at 0-30 cm depth profiles. The differences in C:N, N:P and C:P at the topsoil across target tree species were significantly linked to standing litter stock, tree biomass/total aboveground biomass and Margalef's index of plant community, respectively, whereas the observed variations of C:N, N:P and C:P ratio among soil profiles are closely related to differences in soil bulk density, soil moisture, the quantity and quality of aboveground litter inputs as well as underground fine root across plantations examined. Our results highlight that soil nutrients in plantation depend on litter quantity and quality of selected tree species as well as soil physical attributes. Therefore, matching site with trees is crucial to enhance ecological functioning in degraded regions resulting from human activity.

SUBMITTER: Qi K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7560321 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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