Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (3): 185-196.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0240

Special Issue: 生态化学计量

• Review •     Next Articles

Impacts of nitrogen addition on plant phosphorus content in forest ecosystems and the underlying mechanisms

FENG Chan-Ying1,ZHENG Cheng-Yang1,*(),TIAN Di2   

  1. 1 College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2 College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2018-09-27 Revised:2019-03-05 Online:2019-03-20 Published:2019-07-25
  • Contact: ZHENG Cheng-Yang
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31321061);The National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFC05039)


Nitrogen (N) deposition has profound impacts on the phosphorus (P) cycling in forest ecosystems. Especially, the aggravated P limitation on tree growth under N addition has caused much attention to researchers. This article reviews the effects of N addition on plant P content in forest ecosystems. The result showed that N addition increased soil available P and facilitated the absorption of P by plants by promoting soil phosphatase activity, thereby increasing plant P content. Furthermore, changes in tree P content following N addition were also affected by species, life forms as well as experimental duration. Due to the inconsistency, the underlying mechanisms of changes in P content under N addition were further summarized as follows: 1) changes in soil available P content induced by exogenous N input affected the source of plant P; 2) N input affected the P uptake capacity of plants by affecting plant root exudates, mycorrhizal symbiosis and root morphological structure; 3) plant P utilization efficiency was also influenced with changes of P re-distribution and P re-absorption. Overall, for the changes in plant P under increasing exogenous N inputs, alterations of soil available P under N addition was the primary factor, while changes in plant P uptake capacity and P utilization efficiency ulteriorly regulated plant P content.

Key words: nitrogen deposition, forest ecosystems, plant phosphorus concentration, stoichiometry, underlying mechanisms