Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): 679-685.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0481

Special Issue: 入侵生态学

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Simulated nitrogen deposition influences the growth and competitive ability of Centaurea stoebe populations

PENG Yang1, PENG Pei-Hao1, LI Jing-Ji1,2*   

  1. 1Chengdu University of Technology, Ecological Resources and Landscape Research Institute, Chengdu 610059, China; 

    2Chengdu University of Technology, College of Environment and Civil Engineering, Chengdu 610059, China
  • Received:2015-12-31 Revised:2016-04-15 Online:2016-07-10 Published:2016-07-07
  • Contact: LI Jing-Ji


Aims Soil nitrogen (N) availability is the most limiting factor for terrestrial plant growth, and global N deposition can improve the soil N availability. Fast growth may be a general trait of successful invaders, so learning how N addition affected the growth and competitive ability of three Centaurea stoebe populations is conductive to forecasting the plant invasion risk under N deposition.
Methods We conducted an experiment simulating N deposition at Chengdu, in which three populations from the invasive forb C. stoebe and one native species Poa pratensis were subjected to two treatments: N addition and ambient. In our study, C. stoebe populations and P. pratensis were planted alone or together, and we determined plant height, leaf area and biomass.
Important findings In the absence of competition, N addition promoted the growth of C. stoebe populations, thereby improving their invasive potential to a certain extent. So under the condition of competition, we found that N addition obviously enhanced the competitive effects of C. stoebe on P. pratensis, particularly interspecific root competition. The competitive ability of different populations performed similarly in response to N addition. These results preliminarily suggest that N deposition may increase the potential invasion risks of C. stoebe populations by improving their competitive ability.

Key words: nitrogen deposition, invasive plants, competitive effects, competitive responses, relative interaction intensity