Journal Article

Plant Nitrogen Dynamics and Nitrogen-use Strategies under Altered Nitrogen Seasonality and Competition

Zhiyou Yuan, Weixing Liu, Shuli Niu and Shiqiang Wan

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 100, issue 4, pages 821-830
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcm178
Plant Nitrogen Dynamics and Nitrogen-use Strategies under Altered Nitrogen Seasonality and Competition

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background and Aims

Numerous studies have examined the effects of climatic factors on the distribution of C3 and C4 grasses in various regions throughout the world, but the role of seasonal fluctuations in temperature, precipitation and soil N availability in regulating growth and competition of these two functional types is still not well understood. This report is about the effects of seasonality of soil N availability and competition on plant N dynamics and N-use strategies of one C3 (Leymus chinensis) and one C4 (Chloris virgata) grass species.

Methods Leymus chinensis

and C. virgata, two grass species native to the temperate steppe in northern China, were planted in a monoculture and a mixture under three different N seasonal availabilities: an average model (AM) with N evenly distributed over the growing season; a one-peak model (OM) with more N in summer than in spring and autumn; and a two-peak model (TM) with more N in spring and autumn than in summer.

Key Results

The results showed that the altered N seasonality changed plant N concentration, with the highest value of L. chinensis under the OM treatment and C. virgata under the TM treatment, respectively. N seasonality also affected plant N content, N productivity and N-resorption efficiency and proficiency in both the C3 and C4 species. Interspecific competition influenced N-use and resorption efficiency in both the C3 and C4 species, with higher N-use and resorption efficiency in the mixture than in monoculture. The C4 grass had higher N-use efficiency than the C3 grass due to its higher N productivity, irrespective of the N treatment or competition.

Conclusions

The observations suggest that N-use strategies in the C3 and C4 species used in the study were closely related to seasonal dynamics of N supply and competition. N seasonality might be involved in the growth and temporal niche separation between C3 and C4 species observed in the natural ecosystems.

Keywords: Competition; C3 and C4 grasses; nitrogen seasonality; nitrogen productivity; mean residence time; temperate steppe

Journal Article.  6371 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.