Regular Article

Plant and Soil

, Volume 343, Issue 1, pp 393-400

Terrestrial C:N stoichiometry in response to elevated CO2 and N addition: a synthesis of two meta-analyses

  • Yuanhe YangAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma Email author 
  • , Yiqi LuoAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma
  • , Meng LuAffiliated withCoastal Ecosystems Research Station of Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, The Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan UniversityDepartment of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University
  • , Christina SchädelAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma
  • , Wenxuan HanAffiliated withCollege of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University

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Abstract

Both elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N) deposition may induce changes in C:N ratios in plant tissues and mineral soil. However, the potential mechanisms driving the stoichiometric shifts remain elusive. In this study, we examined the responses of C:N ratios in both plant tissues and mineral soil to elevated CO2 and N deposition using data extracted from 140 peer-reviewed publications. Our results indicated that C:N ratios in both plant tissues and mineral soil exhibited consistent increases under elevated CO2 regimes whereas decreases in C:N ratios were observed in response to experimental N addition. Moreover, soil C:N ratio was less sensitive than plant C:N ratio to both global change scenarios. Our results also showed that the responses of stoichiometric ratios were highly variable among different studies. The changes in C:N ratio did not exhibit strong correlations with C dynamics but were negatively associated with corresponding changes in N content. These results suggest that N dynamics drive stoichiometric shifts in both plant tissues and mineral soil under both elevated CO2 and N deposition scenarios.

Keywords

Carbon:nitrogen ratio Global change Mineral soil Nitrogen deposition Plant tissues Stoichiometric shift Terrestrial ecosystems