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Ecological stoichiometry in Pinus massoniana L. plantation: increasing nutrient limitation in a 48-year chronosequence


Ali, A and Hussain, M and Ali, S and Akhtar, K and Muhammad, MW and Zamir, A and Ali, A and Nizami, SM and Ahmad, B and Harrison, MT and Fahad, S and Zhou, Z and Yi, S, Ecological stoichiometry in Pinus massoniana L. plantation: increasing nutrient limitation in a 48-year chronosequence, Forests, 13, (3) Article 469. ISSN 1999-4907 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.3390/f13030469


Stoichiometric ratios of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) are considered indicators of nutrient status and ultimate ecosystem health. A detailed investigation of these elements in the leaves, branches, forest layer vegetation and soil, depending on stand age, was carried out. We investigated the effects of stand age (9-, 18-, 28-, and 48-year) on the aboveground plant parts (leaf, branch, herb, shrub, plant litter) and belowground pools (soil, roots) of P. massoniana plantations. The CNP stoichiometry of trees was affected by stand age. Mean N content in the aboveground parts in the nine-yr stand was greater than the other stands (18-, 28-, 48-yr), which decreased with increasing stand age. As stands aged, the nutrient demands of the plantations increased as well as their N:P ratios in soil. C content in the soil ranged from 30 to 105, the total N was 0.06 to 1.6, and the total P content ranged from 3.36.4 g kg−1. Soil C, N and P contents were greatly influenced by both stand age and soil depth, because surface soil sequester C and N more actively compared to deeper horizons, and more nutrients are released to the topsoil by the plant litter layer. Similarly, the ratios of other layers had a similar pattern as CNP because more nutrients were taken up by the plantations, decreasing nutrient supply in the deeper soil horizons. The green leaves N:P ratios (16) indicate limited growth of P. massoniana, as the range for global nutrient limitation for woody plants oscillated between 1416, indicating N and P limitation. Young stands were observed to have greater P content and P resorption efficiency (56.9%67.3%), with lower C:P and N:P ratios (704.4; 14.8). We conclude that with stand development, the nutrient demands of the plantations also increase, and soil N:P stoichiometry shows that these improve soil quality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:CNP, stoichiometry, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, forestry, softwood, plantation, timber, soil carbon, little, carbon pools, roots, surface organic matter, soil organic matter, nutrients, C:N:P, stand, canopy, herb, shrub, chronosequence
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural management of nutrients
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Softwood plantations
UTAS Author:Harrison, MT (Associate Professor Matthew Harrison)
ID Code:149342
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-03-25
Last Modified:2022-05-03

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