Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2018, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (12): 1154-1167.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0214

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Leaf C, N, and P concentrations and their stoichiometry in peatland plants of Da Hinggan Ling, China

LI Rui1,HU Chao-Chen1,XU Shi-Qi1,WU Di1,DONG Yu-Ping1,SUN Xin-Chao1,MAO Rong2,3,WANG Xian-Wei2,*(),LIU Xue-Yan1,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
    2 Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
    3 College of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
  • Received:2018-08-27 Revised:2018-12-03 Online:2018-12-20 Published:2019-04-04
  • Contact: WANG Xian-Wei,LIU Xue-Yan ORCID: 0000-0003-1097-151, LI Rui ORCID: 0000-0002-1793-7997
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(41471056);Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(41522301);Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(41730855);the National Key R & D Program of China(2016YFA0600802)


Aims Leaf carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) concentrations and their stoichiometry can provide a basis for plant nutrient status and element limitation. Our objective was to explore variations of leaf C:N:P stoichiometry in plants of different growth forms.

Methods We analyzed leaf C, N, and P concentrations in three graminoids (Eriophorum vaginatum, Carex globularis, Deyeuxia angustifolia), five deciduous shrubs (Betula fruticosa, Salix myrtilloides, Salix rosmarinifolia, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Vaccinium uliginosum), and three evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Rhododendron capitatum) across 18 peatland sites in the Da Hinggan Ling, northeastern China.

Important findings (1) Leaf C, N, and P concentrations were higher, and the leaf C:N, C:P, and N:P values were lower, in deciduous and evergreen shrubs than in graminoids, indicating that plants of different growth forms had different nutrient utilization strategies. Shrubs had higher C, N and P storage and lower N and P use efficiency than graminoids. (2) Leaf N:P values in Deyeuxia angustifolia and R. capitatum were less than 10, and their leaf N concentrations were lower than the global mean leaf N concentration, indicating that those species were limited by N more than other plants. (3) The sampling sites explained 12.8%-40.8% of the variations in leaf C, N, and P stoichiometry, and plant species explained 9.3%-25.5%. (4) Graminoids had greater inter-site coefficient of variance (CV) values in leaf C, N, and P variables than deciduous and evergreen shrubs, indicating greater sensitive to site factors. (4) The inter-species CV values in leaf N were greater in graminoids than in deciduous and evergreen shrubs, and the inter-species CV values in leaf P were greater in deciduous shrubs than in graminoids and evergreen shrubs, indicating greater physiological differentiation in N and P use strategies in graminoids and deciduous shrubs than in evergreen shrubs.

Key words: Da Hinggan Ling, northern peatland, plant nutrition, stoichiometry