Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (11): 1138-1153.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0105

Special Issue: 生态化学计量

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Seasonal dynamics of leaf C, N and P stoichiometry in plants of typical steppe in Nei Mongol, China

XIONG Xing-Shuo1,2, CAI Hong-Yu2, LI Yao-Qi2, MA Wen-Hong3, NIU Ke-Chang4, CHEN Di-Ma5, LIU Na-Na2, SU Xiang-Yan2, JING He-Ying2, FENG Xiao-Juan6, ZENG Hui1,2,*(), WANG Zhi-Heng2,*()   

  1. 1School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China
    2Institute of Ecology, Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    3School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China
    4School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    5College of Biology and Pharmacy, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei 443002, China
    6State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
  • Received:2020-04-15 Accepted:2020-07-16 Online:2020-11-20 Published:2021-01-05
  • Contact: ZENG Hui,WANG Zhi-Heng
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFA0606104);National Natural Science Foundation of China(31988102)


Aims Exploring the seasonal dynamics in leaf carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and their ecological stoichiometric characteristics will enhance our understanding about physiological and ecological processes such as plant growth and development and nutrient uptake and utilization as well as dynamic equilibrium relationship among plant stoichiometry.
Methods Here, we collected leaf samples of 18 dominant plant species semimonthly through growing season (i.e. from June 2nd to Sept. 2nd) from a long-term fenced site in a typical steppe in Xilinhot of Nei Mongol, China. Leaf C, N and P concentrations were measured. Seasonal changes in leaf C, N and P concentrations and their ratios were explored and their differences between different species groups were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. The relationships between leaf C, N and P concentrations and their ratios were analyzed using correlation analysis. Lastly, the allometric relationships between the concentrations of different elements were analyzed using Standardized Major Axis.
Important findings Seasonal trends in leaf C, N and P concentrations and their ratios were not consistent with each other and also differed between different functional groups. Specifically, the variation of leaf N and P concentrations for all functional groups showed obvious dilution effect. Monocotyledons and perennial grasses had lower leaf N and P concentrations but much higher leaf C:N and C:P mass ratio than dicotyledons and perennial forbs, respectively. Leaf N concentration was positively correlated with leaf P concentration while leaf C:N and C:P mass ratios were negatively correlated with leaf N and P concentrations respectively, indicating the internal coupling mechanism between nutrient elements in plants. Allometric analyses showed that leaf N concentration and C:N mass ratio, leaf P concentration and C:P mass ratio as well as leaf N and P concentrations all maintained the same growth rate respectively among species through most time of growing season.

Key words: seasonal dynamic, stoichiometry, allometry, leaf, typical steppe