Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (11): 1145-1153.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0052

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Foliar nitrogen and phosphorus stoichiometry of alien invasive plants and co-occurring natives in Xishuangbanna

Chao-Chen HU1,2, Xue-Yan LIU1,3,*(), Yan-Bao LEI4, Yun-Hong TAN5, Peng ZHANG1, Yu-Ping DONG3, Cong-Qiang LIU1,3   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, China

    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

    3Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

    4Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
    5Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan 666303, China
  • Received:2016-01-29 Accepted:2016-05-12 Online:2016-11-25 Published:2016-11-10
  • Contact: Xue-Yan LIU


Aims How alien invasive plants and co-occurring native plants utilize nutrients is one of major issues in invasion ecology. Foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents and stoichiometry can elucidate the uptake ability and limitation status of nutrients in plants, which provides basic knowledge for understanding the invading ability and co-occurrence or disappearance of plants.
Methods Based on typical alien invasive plants (Chromolaena odorata, Ageratina adenophora) and native plants in southwestern China, this study focused on strategies of N and P utilization among invasive plants and native plants under different invasion conditions. The species compositions, aboveground biomass, leaf N and P contents and leaf N:P were investigated for plants in plots with no invasion and with different invasion extents (estimated by the plot-based percentage of invaders’ biomass in total community) at Mt. Kongming in Xishuangbanna region, Yunnan Province, China.
Important findings The species number decreased significantly with the invasion extent of both C. odorata and A. adenophora, although the aboveground biomass was greatly enhanced. Leaf N and P contents did not differ between the two studied invaders, but they showed significantly higher N and P levels than both co-occurring and only native species (p < 0.05). Besides, leaf N and P contents of invaders increased with the invasion extent, and leaf N of native plants also showed an increasing trend with the invasion extent. When the influence of invasion was checked for the same species, leaf P contents decreased, whereas leaf N and N:P increased for most native plants under invasion. Based on the absolute foliar N and P contents, N:P values, we inferred that native plants were still limited by N, although N availability might be enhanced by invasion. Both invasive plants had leaf N:P values lower than 10, suggesting a higher P uptake relative to N uptake. All above results highlighted a higher N and P uptake of typical alien invasive plants in southwestern China.

Key words: plant invasion, nitrogen:phosphorus, ecological stoichiometry, Chromolaena odorata, Ageratina adenophora

Table 1

Native plant species across the study plots with no invasion (n = 3), invaded by Chromolaena odorata (n = 6) and Ageratina adenophora (n = 6), respectively, at Mt. Kongming in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China"

Species in plots with no invasion (n)
Native species in plots
invaded by C. odorata (n)
Native species in plots invaded by
A. adenophora (n)
禾本科 Poaceae

鼠尾粟 Sporobolus fertilis (3) 鼠尾粟 Sporobolus fertilis (4) 鼠尾粟 Sporobolus fertilis (2)
两耳草 Paspalum conjugatum (3) 两耳草 Paspalum conjugatum (4) 两耳草 Paspalum conjugatum (4)
白茅 Imperata cylindrica (3) 白茅 Imperata cylindrica (4) 白茅 Imperata cylindrica (4)
圆果雀稗 Paspalum orbiculare (3) 圆果雀稗 Paspalum orbiculare (1) 圆果雀稗 Paspalum orbiculare (1)
硬秆子草 Capillipedium assimile (3) 硬秆子草 Capillipedium assimile (2) 硬秆子草 Capillipedium assimile (3)
五节芒 Miscanthus floridulus (3) 五节芒 Miscanthus floridulus (1) 五节芒 Miscanthus floridulus (2)
金丝草 Pogonatherum crinitum (2) 金丝草 Pogonatherum crinitum (1) 拔毒散 Sida szechuensis (1)
狗尾草 Setaria viridis (2) 狗尾草 Setaria viridis (1)
柳叶箬 Isachne globosa (1)
大戟科 Euphorbiaceae 黑面神 Breynia fruticosa (3) 黑面神 Breynia fruticosa (1) 黑面神 Breynia fruticosa (1)
艾橡树 Glochidion oblatum (2) 艾橡树 Glochidion oblatum (1)
叶下珠 Phyllanthus urinaria (1)
豆科 Leguminosae 假地豆 Desmodium heterocarpon (2) 假地豆 Desmodium heterocarpon (3) 假地豆 Desmodium heterocarpon (2)
三点金 Desmodium triflorum (2) 三点金 Desmodium triflorum (1) 假木豆 Dendrolobium triangulare (1)
云南千斤拔 Flemingia wallichii (1) 猪屎豆 Crotalaria pallida (1)
茜草科 Rubiaceae 水锦树 Wendlandia uvariifolia (2) 水锦树 Wendlandia uvariifolia (1) 水锦树 Wendlandia uvariifolia (1)
松叶耳草 Hedyotis pinifolia (3) 松叶耳草 Hedyotis pinifolia (2) 松叶耳草 Hedyotis pinifolia (2)
耳草 Hedyotis auricularia (1)
蔷薇科 Rosaceae 龙芽草 Agrimonia pilosa (3) 龙芽草 Agrimonia pilosa (2) 龙芽草 Agrimonia pilosa (2)
次蕨麻 Potentilla anserina (1)
莎草科 Cyperaceae 香附子 Cyperus rotundus (1) 水蜈蚣 Kyllinga brevifolia (1) 香附子 Cyperus rotundus (1)
十字薹草 Carex cruciata (2) 十字薹草 Carex cruciata (2)
水蜈蚣 Kyllinga brevifolia (1)
锦葵科 Malvaceae 地桃花 Urena lobata (3) 地桃花 Urena lobata (5) 地桃花 Urena lobata (2)
爵床科 Acanthaceae 爵床 Rostellularia procumbens (3) 爵床 Rostellularia procumbens (2) 爵床 Rostellularia procumbens (2)
野牡丹科 Melastomataceae 多花野牡丹 Melastoma affine (3) 多花野牡丹 Melastoma affine (2) 多花野牡丹 Melastoma affine (2)
菊科 Asteraceae 地胆草 Elephantopus scaber (3) 地胆草 Elephantopus scaber (3) 地胆草 Elephantopus scaber (1)
毛茛科 Ranunculaceae 铁扫帚 Clematis hexapetala (2) 铁扫帚 Clematis hexapetala (2)
荨麻科 Urticaceae 糯米团 Memorialis hirta (1)
唇形科 Labiatae 大籽筋骨草 Ajuga macrosperma (1)
椴树科 Tiliaceae 刺蒴麻 Triumfetta rhomboidea (1)
百合科 Liliaceae 野百合 Crotalaria sessiliflora (1)

Fig. 1

Variations of plot-based species number (A), community aboveground biomass and native plants aboveground biomass (B, C) with the biomass percentage of alien invasive plants in total community."

Table 2

Leaf N and P concentration, N:P values (mean ± SD) of native and invasive plants under invasion and no invasion (values of each parameter with different letter a or b differ significantly from each other)"

No invasion plot
Chromolaena odorata invasion plot
Ageratina adenophora invasion plot
Native plant
(n = 52)
C. odorata
(n = 6)
Native plant
(n = 40)
A. adenophora
(n = 6)
Native plant
(n = 36)
氮含量 N concentration (%) 1.1 ± 0.4a 2.4 ± 0.3b 1.2 ± 0.5a 2.3 ± 0.3b 1.2 ± 0.6a
磷含量 P concentration (%) 0.18 ± 0.10a 0.33 ± 0.11b 0.12 ± 0.09a 0.24 ± 0.08b 0.14 ± 0.11a
氮磷比值 N:P value 7.0 ± 3.5a 8.3 ± 2.3a 10.4 ± 4.9a 10.4 ± 2.7a 9.5 ± 4.8a

Fig. 2

Variations of plot-based leaf N (A), P (B), N:P (C) in invasive and native plants with the biomass percentage of invasive plants in total community (mean ± SD)."

Fig. 3

Differences of leaf N and P concentration, N:P values in the same native plants between non-invasion and invasion plots, respectively (Error bars represent SD). The gray and black columns denote increases and decreases in N, P contents or N:P in co-occuring plants, respectively, n denotes species number with increases or decreases in N, P, N:P, respectively."

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