Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 651–665

Patterns and driving factors of WUE and NUE in natural forest ecosystems along the North-South Transect of Eastern China

  • Wenping Sheng
  • Shujie Ren
  • Guirui Yu
  • Huajun Fang
  • Chunming Jiang
  • Mi Zhang
Article
  • 294 Downloads

Abstract

From July 2008 to August 2008, 72 leaf samples from 22 species and 81 soil samples in the nine natural forest ecosystems were collected, from north to south along the North-South Transect of Eastern China (NSTEC). Based on these samples, we studied the geographical distribution patterns of vegetable water use efficiency (WUE) and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), and analyzed their relationship with environmental factors. The vegetable WUE and NUE were calculated through the measurement of foliar δ13C and C/N of predominant species, respectively. The results showed: (1) vegetable WUE, ranging from 2.13 to 28.67 mg C g−1 H2O, increased linearly from south to north in the representative forest ecosystems along the NSTEC, while vegetable NUE showed an opposite trend, increasing from north to south, ranging from 12.92 to 29.60 g C g−1 N. (2) Vegetable WUE and NUE were dominantly driven by climate and significantly affected by soil nutrient factors. Based on multiple stepwise regression analysis, mean annual temperature, soil phosphorus concentration, and soil nitrogen concentration were responding for 75.5% of the variations of WUE (p<0.001). While, mean annual precipitation and soil phosphorus concentration could explain 65.7% of the change in vegetable NUE (p<0.001). Moreover, vegetable WUE and NUE would also be seriously influenced by atmospheric nitrogen deposition in nitrogen saturated ecosystems. (3) There was a significant trade-off relationship between vegetable WUE and NUE in the typical forest ecosystems along the NSTEC (p<0.001), indicating a balanced strategy for vegetation in resource utilization in natural forest ecosystems along the NSTEC. This study suggests that global change would impact the resource use efficiency of forest ecosystems. However, vegetation could adapt to those changes by increasing the use efficiency of shortage resource while decreasing the relatively ample one. But extreme impacts, such as heavy nitrogen deposition, would break this trade-off mechanism and give a dramatic disturbance to the ecosystem biogeochemical cycle.

Keywords

water use efficiency (WUE) nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) δ13C/N North-South Transect of Eastern China (NSTEC) 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aber J, McDowell W, Nadelhoffer K et al., 1998. Nitrogen saturation in temperate forest ecosystems. Bioscience, 48(11): 921–934.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson J, Kriedemann P, Austin M et al., 2000. Eucalypts forming a canopy functional type in dry sclerophyll forests respond differentially to environment. Australian Journal of Botany, 48(6): 759–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beedlow P, Tingey D, Phillips D et al., 2004. Rising atmospheric CO2 and carbon sequestration in forests. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2(6): 315–322.Google Scholar
  4. Berendse F, Aerts R, 1987. Nitrogen-use-efficiency: A biologically meaningful definition? Functional Ecology, 1(3): 293–296.Google Scholar
  5. Birk E, Vitousek P. 1986. Nitrogen availability and nitrogen use efficiency in loblolly pine stands. Ecology, 67(1): 69–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chadwick O, Derry L, Vitousek P et al., 1999. Changing sources of nutrients during four million years of ecosystem development. Nature, 397(6719): 491–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen S P, Bai Y F, Zhang L X et al., 2005. Comparing physiological responses of two dominant grass species to nitrogen addition in Xilin River Basin of China. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 53(1): 65–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Craig H, 1957. Isotopic standards for carbon and oxygen and correction factors for mass-spectrometric analysis of carbon dioxide. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 12(1/2): 133–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craufurd P, Wheeler T, Ellis R et al., 1999. Effect of temperature and water deficit on water-use efficiency, carbon isotope discrimination, and specific leaf area in peanut. Crop Science, 39(1): 136–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Vries W, Reinds G, Gundersen P et al., 2006. The impact of nitrogen deposition on carbon sequestration in European forests and forest soils. Global Change Biology, 12(7): 1151–1173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dore M, 2005. Climate change and changes in global precipitation patterns: What do we know? Environment International, 31(8): 1167–1181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ebdon J S, Petrovic A M, Dawson T E, 1998. Relationship between carbon isotope discrimination, water use efficiency, and evapotranspiration in Kentucky bluegrass. Crop Science, 38(1): 157–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ehleringer J, Pearcy R, 1983. Variation in quantum yield for CO2 uptake among C3 and C4 plants. Plant Physiology, 73(3): 555–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fang Y T, Gundersen P, Mo J M et al., 2008. Input and output of dissolved organic and inorganic nitrogen in subtropical forests of South China under high air pollution. Biogeosciences, 5(2): 339–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Farquhar G D, Oleary M H, Berry J A, 1982. On the relationship between carbon isotope discrimination and the inter-cellular carbon-dioxide concentration in leaves. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 9(2): 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Felzer B S, Cronin T W, Melillo J M, Kicklighter D W, Schlosser C A, 2009. Importance of carbon-nitrogen interactions and ozone on ecosystem hydrology during the 21st century, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1029/2008JG000826.Google Scholar
  17. Galloway J, Dentener F, Capone D et al., 2004. Nitrogen cycles: Past, present, and future. Biogeochemistry, 70(2): 153–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Han W, Fang J, Guo D et al., 2005. Leaf nitrogen and phosphorus stoichiometry across 753 terrestrial plant species in China. New Phytologist, 168(2): 377–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. He F N, Ge Q S, Dai J H et al., 2008. Forest change of China in recent 300 years. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 18: 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hirose T, Bazzaz F A, 1998. Trade-off between light- and nitrogen-use efficiency in canopy photosynthesis. Annals of Botany, 82(2): 195–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hu Z M, Yu G R, Wang Q F, et al., 2009. Ecosystem level water use efficiency: A review. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 29(3): 1498–1507.Google Scholar
  22. Huxman T, Smith M, Fay P et al., 2004. Convergence across biomes to a common rain-use efficiency. Nature, 429(6992): 651–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment ReportGoogle Scholar
  24. Keitel C, Matzarakis A, Rennenberg H et al., 2006. Carbon isotopic composition and oxygen isotopic enrichment in phloem and total leaf organic matter of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) along a climate gradient. Plant, Cell & Environment, 29(8): 1492–1507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kirakosyan A, Seymour E, Kaufman P et al., 2003. Antioxidant capacity of polyphenolic extracts from leaves of Crataegus laevigata and Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) subjected to drought and cold stress. Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry, 51(14): 3973–3976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kloeppel B, Gower S, Treichel I et al., 1998. Foliar carbon isotope discrimination in Larix species and sympatric evergreen conifers: A global comparison. Oecologia, 114(2): 153–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li F, Kang S, Zhang J et al., 2003. Effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment, water status and applied nitrogen on water and nitrogen use efficiencies of wheat. Plant and Soil, 254(2): 279–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li M, Liu H, Song D et al., 2007. Water use efficiency and nitrogen use efficiency of alpine plants grown in the east of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Acta Botanica Boreali-occidentalla Sinica, 27(6): 1216–1224.Google Scholar
  29. Liptzin D, Seastedt T R, 2009. Patterns of snow, deposition, and soil nutrients at multiple spatial scales at a Rocky Mountain tree line ecotone. Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1029/2009JG000941.Google Scholar
  30. Livingston N J, Guy R D, Sun Z J et al., 1999. The effects of nitrogen stress on the stable carbon isotope composition, productivity and water use efficiency of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) seedlings. Plant Cell and Environment, 22(3): 281–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lü C, Tian H, 2007. Spatial and temporal patterns of nitrogen deposition in China: Synthesis of observational data. Journal of Geophysical Research, doi: 10.1029/2006JD007990.Google Scholar
  32. Luo Y, Su B, Currie W et al., 2004. Progressive nitrogen limitation of ecosystem responses to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. BioScience, 54(8): 731–739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McCulley R, Archer S, Boutton T et al., 2004. Soil respiration and nutrient cycling in wooded communities developing in grassland. Ecology, 85(10): 2804–2817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moffat A, 1998. Global nitrogen overload problem grows critical. Science, 279(5353): 988–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Neilson R, Drapek R, 1998. Potentially complex biosphere responses to transient global warming. Global Change Biology, 4(5): 505–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Patterson T B, Guy R D, Dang Q L. 1997. Whole-plant nitrogen- and water-relations traits, and their associated trade-offs, in adjacent muskeg and upland boreal spruce species. Oecologia, 110: 160–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sun H Y, Liu C M, Zhang X Y et al., 2006. Effects of irrigation on water balance, yield and WUE of winter wheat in the North China Plain. Agricultural Water Management, 85(1/2): 211–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thuiller W, Vayreda J, Pino J et al., 2003. Large-scale environmental correlates of forest tree distributions in Catalonia. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 12: 313–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wong S, 1990. Elevated atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 and plant growth. Photosynthesis Research, 23(2): 171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wright I J, Reich P B, Westoby M, et al., 2004. The worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Nature, 428(6985): 821–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wu S, Zheng Du, Yin Y et al., 2010. Northward-shift of temperature zones in China’s eco-geographical study under future climate scenario. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 20(5): 643–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xiao F J, Ouyang H, Zhang Q et al., 2008. Forest ecosystem health assessment and analysis in China. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 14(1): 18–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yu G R, Song X, Wang Q F et al., 2009. Water-use efficiency of forest ecosystems in eastern China and its relations to climatic variables. New Phytologist, 177(4): 927–937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yu G R, Wen X F, Sun X M, et al., 2006. Overview of ChinaFLUX and evaluation of its eddy covariance measurement. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 137: 125–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yu G R, Zhang L M, Sun X M, et al., 2008. Environmental controls over carbon exchange of three forest ecosystems in eastern China. Global Change Biology, 14: 2555–2571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhai P, Cao Q, Zhou X, 2004. Progress in China’s climate change study in the 20th century. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 14(suppl.): 3–11.Google Scholar
  47. Zhou G S, Wang Y H, Jiang Y L, 2002. Global change and water-driven IGBP-NECT, Northeast China. Earth Science Frontiers, 9(1): 119–126. (in Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenping Sheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shujie Ren
    • 1
  • Guirui Yu
    • 1
  • Huajun Fang
    • 1
  • Chunming Jiang
    • 3
  • Mi Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Synthesis Research Center of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchCASBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Applied EcologyCASShenyangChina

Personalised recommendations