Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (9): 783-792.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0232

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Responses of tree growth to nitrogen addition in Quercus wutaishanica forests in Mount Dongling, Beijing, China

ZOU An-Long,LI Xiu-Ping,NI Xiao-Feng,JI Cheng-Jun()   

  1. Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2018-09-18 Accepted:2019-02-28 Online:2020-01-03 Published:2019-09-20
  • Contact: JI Cheng-Jun E-mail:jicj@pku.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31770431);and the National Basic Work of Science and Technology of China(2011FY110300)

Abstract:

Aims Temperate forest is one of the most important components of the global forests and main carbon pools. Nitrogen (N) is considered as the limiting nutrient for the forest growth. However, the heterogeneities in plant species and stem sizes were largely ignored in previous researches on the effects of N addition on plant growth. Quercus wutaishanica is one of the most common and dominant tree species in the temperate forests in North China. In this study, we investigated the responses of growth of trees and forests to N addition in the Quercus wutaishanica forests in Mt. Dongling in Beijing.
Methods We conducted a 7-year N fertilization experiment in Quercus wutaishanica forests in Mt. Dongling, Beijing, since 2011. The N addition was conducted at three treatment levels, i.e., 0 kg hm -2·a -1, 50 kg hm -2·a -1 and 100 kg hm -2·a -1. Nitrogen was added at the beginning of each month from May to October each year. We used electronic vernier caliper to measure tree growth rate for each year. All trees were divided into three groups based on their diameter at breast height (DBH), namely small trees (DBH = 3-10 cm), median trees (DBH =10-20 cm) and large trees (DBH > 20 cm). Particularly, we considered growth at species level for all Quercus wutaishanica and the growth at community level for all tree species in the stands.
Important findings (1) At species level, N addition enhanced the growth rate of Q. wutaishanica. (2) At community level, the growth rate showed no difference among different N addition treatments. (3) Small trees were restrained, while median and large Q. wutaishanica trees were not significantly influenced, by the N addition.

Key words: nitrogen deposition, Quercus wutaishanica, tree growth, temperate forest

Fig. 1

Influence of nitrogen addition treatments on soil total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) content and pH value in Quercus wutaishanica forests in Mt. Dongling, Beijing (mean + SE, n = 3). Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05). CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

Fig. 2

Influence of nitrogen additions on leaf total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) content of Quercus wutaishanica in Mt. Dongling, Beijing (mean + SE, n = 3). Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05). CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

Fig. 3

Influence of nitrogen addition treatments on the relative growth rate (RGR) of basal area of Quercus wutaishanica and trees at community level in Mt. Dongling, Beijing (mean + SE, n = 3). Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05). CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

Fig. 4

Relationships of relative growth rate (RGR) of Quercus wutaishanica and trees at community level with soil total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) content in Mt. Dongling, Beijing. Each dot indicates the mean in each plot. CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

Fig. 5

Relationships of Quercus wutaishanica leaf total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) content with soil total carbon, total nitrogen and total phosphorus content in Mt. Dongling, Beijing. Each dot indicates the mean in each plot. CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

Fig. 6

Influence of nitrogen addition treatments on the relative growth rate (RGR) of different diameter at breast height (DBH) classes of Quercus wutaishanica and trees at community level in Mt. Dongling, Beijing (mean + SE, n = 3). Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05). 3-10, 10-20, >20 denote trees diameter at breast height (DBH) range are 3-10, 10-20, >20 cm. CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

Fig. 7

Relationships of relative growth rate (RGR) of different diameter at breast height (DBH) classes of Quercus wutaishanica in Mt. Dongling, Beijing and trees at community level with soil nitrogen (TN). CK, N50, N100 denote nitrogen addition 0, 50, 100 kg·hm-2·a-1, respectively."

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