Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (8): 885-894.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2019.0358

• Research Articles • Previous Articles    

Characteristics of soil enzyme activities and stoichiometry and its influencing factors in Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata forests in the Qinling Mountains

XIE Meng-Yi1,2, FENG Xiu-Xiu1,2, MA Huan-Fei1,2, HU Han1,2, WANG Jie-Ying1,2, GUO Yao-Xin3, REN Cheng-Jie4, WANG Jun1,2, ZHAO Fa-Zhu1,2,*()   

  1. 1Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, Xi?an 710127, China
    2College of Urban and Environment Science, Northwest University, Xi?an 710127, China
    3College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi?an 710127, China
    4College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
  • Received:2019-12-23 Accepted:2020-04-23 Online:2020-08-20 Published:2020-07-03
  • Contact: ZHAO Fa-Zhu
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41601578);China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2018T111089)


Aims The dynamics and driving factors of soil enzyme activities and stoichiometry in the micro-scale elevation gradient is of great significance in the study of nutrient cycling processes.
Methods In the present study, the Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata forest belts at the elevation of 1 308, 1 403, 1 503, 1 603, 1 694 and 1 803 m in Taibai Mountain were sampled to determine the contents of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) in leaves, litters, roots and soils, and the activities of alkaline phosphatase (AKP), β-1,4-glucosidase (βG), cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-1,4-xylosidase (βX) and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG).
Important findings Our results showed that altitude had a great impact on the activities of five soil enzymes. CBH and βG increased first and then decreased with the altitude, while βX showed the opposite trend. The NAG and AKP activity showed a downward trend from 1 408 to 1 694 m and increased with elevation since 1 803 m. The total enzyme activity index exhibited a decreasing trend with altitudes increases. The correlation analysis results indicated that soil enzyme activities and their stoichiometry were controlled by plant, soil C, N, P resources, and soil water and heat conditions. Among these factors, the content of soil organic carbon had high correlation with these parameters and was the main factor affecting the change of soil enzyme activities in the Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata forest. In short, the soil enzyme activities and stoichiometry were different along the micro-scale elevation gradient, affected by the C, N, and P resources of plant and soil.

Key words: ecological stoichiometry, soil enzyme activity, nutrient cycle, elevation gradient, Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata forest