Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (2): 165-173.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0267

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus additions on nitrous oxide emissions from alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains, China

CAO Deng-Chao1,2,3,4,GAO Xiao-Peng1,2,3,*(),LI Lei1,2,3,GUI Dong-Wei1,2,3,ZENG Fan-Jiang1,2,3,KUANG Wen-Nong1,2,3,4,YIN Ming-Yuan1,2,3,4,LI Yan-Yan1,2,3,4,Aili PULATI5   

  1. 1 Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, ürümqi 830011, China
    2 Cele National Station of Observation and Research for Desert-Grassland Ecosystems in Xinjiang, Cele, Xinjiang 848300, China
    3 Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bio-resource in Arid Zone, Chinese Academy of Sciences, ürümqi 830011, China
    4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    5 Cele Grassland Management Station in Xinjiang, Cele, Xinjiang 848300, China
  • Received:2018-10-30 Accepted:2019-02-01 Online:2019-06-04 Published:2019-02-20
  • Contact: GAO Xiao-Peng E-mail:Xiaopeng.Gao@umanitoba.ca
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31570002);Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31870499)

Abstract: <i>Aims</i>

Nutrient additions such as nitrogen and phosphorus are important strategies to improve the productivity of the grassland ecosystem. However, their effect on soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions remains unclear.

<i>Methods</i>

A field study was conducted in an alpine grassland located in the north slope of Kunlun Mountains in Southern Xinjiang. Four treatments included nitrogen addition alone (N), phosphorus addition alone (P), mixture of nitrogen and phosphorus additions (N + P) and an unfertilized control (CK). Gas samples were collected and analyzed using the static chamber chromatography methodology during the 2017 growing season. Treatment effects on the characteristics of N2O emissions from grassland soil were thoroughly investigated. Pearson correlation analysis was used to identify and quantify the influence of environmental variables on soil N2O emissions.

<i>Important findings</i>

The results showed that N and (N + P) treatments induced N2O flux peaks after three weeks of fertilizer addition, with the maximum daily N2O flux rates of 42.3 and 15.4 g N·hm -2·d -1, respectively. The N treatment significantly increased growing season cumulative N2O emissions by 1.8 to 3.2 times compared to P treatment, (N + P) treatment and CK, and there were no significant differences between the three treatments. Pearson correlation analysis showed that daily N2O flux rate was correlated negatively with soil microbial biomass carbon, and positively with soil pH and dissolved organic carbon. There was no significant correlation between daily N2O flux rate and other environmental variables. These results suggest that simultaneous addition of nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients can significantly reduce soil N2O emission compared to N treatment for the alpine grassland in this region.

Key words: alpine grassland, nitrogen and phosphorus addition, N2O, Kunlun Mountains, flux characteristic

Fig. 1

Daily precipitation, soil water-filled pore space (WFPS) at 20 cm depth, daily air temperature (Ta) and soil temperature (Ts) at 20 cm depth during the experimental period."

Fig. 2

Dynamic variation of daily N2O flux rate from grassland soil under different nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments (mean ± SE). Arrow indicates date of nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments. * indicates significant differences between treatments (p < 0.05). CK, control; N, nitrogen addition; N + P, nitrogen and phosphorus addition; P, phosphorus addition."

Table 1

Cumulative N2O emissions of grassland soil under different nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments in alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains, China (mean ± SE)"

处理 Treatment N2O排放通量 N2O emission (kg N·hm-2) p
对照 CK 0.50 ± 0.05B
氮添加 nitrogen addition 1.45 ± 0.06A 0.002
磷添加 phosphorus addition 0.35 ± 0.02B 0.025
氮磷混施 nitrogen + phosphorus addition 0.52 ± 0.05B 0.226

Fig. 3

Dynamic variation of soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content and pH under different nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments in alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains (mean ± SE). * indicates significant difference between treatments (p < 0.05). CK, control; N, nitrogen addition; N + P, nitrogen and phosphorus addition; P, phosphorus addition."

Fig. 4

Dynamic variation of soil NH4+-N, NO3--N and available P content under different nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments in alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains (mean ± SE). * indicates significant difference between treatments (p < 0.05). CK, control; N, nitrogen addition; N + P, nitrogen and phosphorus addition; P, phosphorus addition."

Fig. 5

Dynamic variation of soil microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) and carbon (MBC) content under different nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments in alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains, China(mean ± SE). CK, control; N, nitrogen addition; N + P, nitrogen and phosphorus addition; P, phosphorus addition."

Table 2

Plant above-ground biomass under different nitrogen and phosphorus addition treatments in alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains (mean ± SE)"

处理 Treatment 地上部生物量 Above-ground biomass (g·m-2) p
对照 CK 192.78 ± 27.03A
氮添加 nitrogen addition 192.13 ± 34.07A 0.96
磷添加 phosphorus addition 176.02 ± 30.45A 0.62
氮磷交互 nitrogen + phosphorus addition 178.57 ± 28.38A 0.96

Table 3

Correlation coefficients of daily N2O flux rate with environmental variables in alpine grassland in the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains"

硝态氮
NO3--N
铵态氮
NH4+-N
速效磷
AP

pH
可溶性有机碳
DOC
微生物生物量碳
MBC
微生物生
物量氮
MBN
土壤孔隙含水率
WFPS
气温
Air temperature
土壤温度
Soil temperature
-0.17 -0.08 -0.11 0.53** 0.67** -0.30* -0.17 -0.16 -0.19 0.05
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