Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2018, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (9): 963-970.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0085

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Effects of the supply levels and ratios of nitrogen and phosphorus on seed traits of Chenopodium glaucum

TIAN Da-Shuan()   

  1. Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2018-02-26 Revised:2018-05-29 Online:2018-09-26 Published:2018-09-20
  • Contact: Da-Shuan TIAN E-mail:tiands@igsnrr.ac.cn
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.(31600356);the National Basic Research Program of China(2017YFA0604801)

Abstract:

Aims Global nitrogen (N) deposition not only alters soil N and phosphorus (P) availability, but also changes their ratio. The levels and ratios of N and P supply and their interaction may simultaneously influence plant seed traits. However, so far there has been no experiments to distinguish these complex impacts on plant seed traits in the field.

Methods A pot experiment with a factorial design of three levels and ratios of N and P supply was conducted in the Nei Mongol grassland to explore the effects of levels and ratios of N and P supply and their interaction on seed traits of Chenopodium glaucum.

Important findings We found that the relative contribution (15%-24%) of N and P supply levels in affecting the N concentrations, P concentrations and germination rates of seeds was larger than that (3%-7%) of N:P supply ratios, whereas seed size was only significantly influenced by N:P. Simultaneously, seed N and P concentrations were impacted by the interaction of N and P supply levels and ratios. At the same N:P, decrease in nutrient supply levels increased seed N concentrations, P concentrations and germination rates. N:P supply ratios only had a significant effect on seed size and germination rates under low nutrient levels. Overall, these results indicate that different seed traits of C. glaucum show different sensitivities to N or P limitations, leading to adaptive and passive responses under different nutrient limitations. This study presents the the first field experiment to distinguish the effects of nutrient supply levels, ratios and their interactions on plant seed traits, which provides a new case study on the influences of global N deposition on future dynamics of plant population and community.

Key words: seed trait, nutrient supply level, phosphorus supply level, N:P, sand cultured pot experiment, adaptive response

Table 1

Levels and ratios of nitrogen and phosphorus supply in each treatment"

N:P 氮/磷供应量 N/P supply amount (mg·pot-1)
低量 Low 中量 Middle 高量 High
5 8.80/1.76 26.55/5.28 79.15/15.83
15 15.15/1.01 45.75/3.05 137.11/9.14
45 26.55/0.59 79.15/1.76 237.62/5.28

Table 2

Effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) supply levels, ratios and their interactions on the size, N concentrations, P concentrations, germination rates and germination speed of seeds"

种子性状
Seed trait
氮磷供应水平
N and P supply level
氮磷供应比例
N:P supply
ratio
交互作用
Their interaction
自由度 d.f. 2 2 4
种子大小 Seed size 0.74%ns 4.41%* 5.38%ns
氮浓度 N concentration 23.58%*** 2.90%ns 13.77%**
磷浓度 P concentration 23.21%*** 7.07%** 17.45%***
萌发率 Germination rate 15.13%*** 5.86%** 2.79%ns
萌发速度
Germination speed
0.20%ns 2.00%ns 4.07%ns

Fig. 1

Effects of N and P supply levels or ratios on seed size of Chenopodium glaucum (mean ± SE, n = 20). * represents a significant impact of N:P at the same nutrient supply level."

Fig. 2

Effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) supply levels or ratios on seed N and P contents of Chenopodium glaucum (mean ± SE, n = 20). * represents a significant effect of N:P at the same nutrient supply level. Different letters indicate a significant effect of nutrient supply level at the same N:P."

Fig. 3

Effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) supply levels or ratios on seed germination rate and speed of Chenopodium glaucum (mean ± SE, n = 20). * indicates a significant effect of N:P at the same nutrient supply level. Different letters indicate a significant effect of nutrient supply level at the same N:P."

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