Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (10): 962-970.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0093

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

C, N and P stoichiometry of two dominant seedlings and their responses to nitrogen additions in the montane moist evergreen broad-leaved forest in Ailao Mountains, Yunnan

SHI Xian-Meng1,2,*, QI Jin-Hua3,*, SONG Liang1,**(), LIU Wen-Yao1, HUANG Jun-Biao1,2, LI Su1, LU Hua-Zheng1,2, CHEN Xi1,2   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Ailaoshan Station for Subtropical Forest Ecosystem Studies, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jingdong, Yunnan 676209, China
  • Online:2015-10-24 Published:2015-10-01
  • Contact: Xian-Meng SHI,Jin-Hua QI,Liang SONG
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Abstract: <i>Aims</i>

Montane moist evergreen broad-leaved forest is an important vegetation type in the high altitude areas of western China. In this study, total carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) contents and stoichiometry in roots, stems, and leaves of two dominant seedlings, Symplocos ramosissima and Machilus gamblei, and their responses to different levels of N addition were investigated in the montane moist evergreen broad-leaved forest in Ailao Mountains, Yunnan.


A simulation experiment with four N addition levels T0 (0 kg N·hm-2·a-1), T1 (3 kg N·hm-2·a-1), T2 (6 kg N·hm-2·a-1) and T3 (12 kg N·hm-2·a-1) was carried out in the montane moist evergreen broad-leaved forest in Ailao Mountains. Total C, N and P concentrations in different organs of the two dominant seedlings and soil inorganic N concentration in each treatment were measured after one year’s in situ experiment.

<i>Important findings</i>

The C, N and P concentrations of the two seedlings were significantly different (p < 0.05). Machilus gamblei had lower C concentration, but higher N and P concentrations compared with S. ramosissima. N addition had significant effects (p < 0.01) on C, N and P concentrations and their stoichiometry. Significant interactions were detected among N treatments, species and plant organs. N addition increased N concentrations in all organs of the two seedlings, leading to higher ratio of N:P. P concentration of S. ramosissima decreased significantly (p < 0.05) under N addition, while that of M. gamblei increased under medium (T2) and high (T3) N addition treatments. Within a certain range, there was a significant correlation between the N concentrations of seedlings and soil inorganic N concentrations (p < 0.01). Comparisons of homeostasis index among different organs indicated that the N stoichiometry in roots and stems was more stable than that in leaves under N addition.

Key words: ecological stoichiometry, nitrogen deposition, primary forest, homeostasis, seedlings

Table 1

ANOVA of C, N, P and their stoichiometry of different species and organs (mean ± SE)"

物种 Species 器官 Organ C (mg·g-1) N (mg·g-1) P (mg·g-1) C:N N:P C:P
黄心树 根 Root 469.00 ± 1.78Aa 6.86 ± 0.30Aa 0.55 ± 0.02Aa 12.59 ± 0.36Aa 68.81 ± 3.01Aa 864.61 ± 32.76Aa
Machilus gamblei 茎 Stem 469.50 ± 0.29Aa 7.26 ± 0.24Aa 0.58 ± 0.02Aa 12.57 ± 0.22Aa 64.90 ± 2.14Ab 815.18 ± 24.79Aa
叶 Leaf 494.50 ± 0.96Ba 14.70 ± 0.13Ba 0.90 ± 0.01Ba 16.30 ± 0.11Ba 33.64 ± 0.33Bb 548.29 ± 8.47Ba
多花山矾 根 Root 418.00 ± 0.91Ab 6.53 ± 0.48Aa 0.91 ± 0.11Ab 7.72 ± 1.60Ab 65.03 ± 4.46Aa 483.21 ± 63.89Ab
Symplocos ramosissima 茎 Stem 411.75 ± 4.01Ab 8.45 ± 0.41Bb 0.95 ± 0.09Ab 9.30 ± 1.40Aa 49.06 ± 2.33Bb 450.87 ± 56.89Ab
叶 Leaf 402.50 ± 1.26Bb 18.93 ± 0.18Cb 1.14 ± 0.03Ab 16.61 ± 0.53Ba 21.27 ± 0.16Cb 353.23 ± 10.46Ab

Table 2

Effects of N addition, species and plant organs on C, N, P and their stoichiometry of seedlings (F value)"

变量 Variables N处理 N treatments (T) 物种 Species (S) 器官 Organs (O) T × S T × O S × O T × S × O
C 14.780*** 3 557.641*** 13.556*** 17.935*** 1.358 168.786*** 1.602
N 26.605*** 99.505*** 2 263.338*** 1.382 3.723** 115.645*** 4.176**
P 27.124*** 12.711** 286.908*** 41.785*** 2.683* 2.667 3.192**
C:N 7.628*** 52.952*** 549.602*** 5.664** 0.945 13.603*** 1.396
N:P 46.896*** 17.641*** 160.241*** 21.991*** 1.719 12.343*** 0.879
C:P 19.440*** 30.180*** 230.617*** 38.165*** 4.137** 3.636* 5.831***

Fig. 1

Effects of nitrogen solutions addition on the C, N and P concentrations in different organs of the two seedlings (mean ± SE). Different letters above columns indicate significant differences among different N addition levels (p < 0.05). T0, T1, T2, T3, N addition levels are 0, 3, 6, 12 kg·hm-2·a-1."

Fig. 2

Effects of nitrogen addition on the C, N and P stoichiometry in different organs of the two seedlings (mean ± SE). Different letters above columns indicate significant differences among different N addition levels (p < 0.05). T0, T1, T2, T3, see Fig. 1."

Table 3

Soil nutrient content under different N addition levels (mean ± SE)"

Soil inorganic N
Control (T0)
Low N treatment (T1)
Medium N treatment (T2)
High N treatment (T3)
NH4+-N (mg·kg-1) 43.22 ± 6.77 60.62 ± 3.97 64.90 ± 4.82 67.91 ± 2.19
NO3-N (mg·kg-1) 4.11 ± 1.19 4.54 ± 2.04 2.96 ± 1.14 4.71 ± 1.28

Table 4

Correlation analysis of N concentration between plant organs and soil"

土壤N含量 Soil N concentration
黄心树 Machilus gamblei 多花山矾 Symplocos ramosissima
根 Root 0.817*** 0.753**
茎 Stem 0.699** 0.469
叶 Leaf 0.851*** 0.698**

Fig. 3

The N homeostasis index in different organs of the two seedlings in the N addition experiment."

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