Biomass and nutrient allocation strategies in a desert ecosystem in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China
The allocation of biomass and nutrients in plants is a crucial factor in understanding the process of plant structures and dynamics to different environmental conditions. In this study, we present a comprehensive scaling analysis of data from a desert ecosystem to determine biomass and nutrient (carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P)) allocation strategies of desert plants from 40 sites in the Hexi Corridor. We found that the biomass and levels of C, N, and P storage were higher in shoots than in roots. Roots biomass and nutrient storage were concentrated at a soil depth of 0–30 cm. Scaling relationships of biomass, C storage, and P storage between shoots and roots were isometric, but that of N storage was allometric. Results of a redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that soil nutrient densities were the primary factors influencing biomass and nutrient allocation, accounting for 94.5% of the explained proportion. However, mean annual precipitation was the primary factor influencing the roots biomass/shoots biomass (R/S) ratio. Furthermore, Pearson’s correlations and regression analyses demonstrated that although the biomass and nutrients that associated with functional traits primarily depended on soil conditions, mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature had greater effects on roots biomass and nutrient storage.
KeywordsPlant biomass Allocation strategies Desert ecosystem Hexi Corridor
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 91425302, 41401337).
- Brouwer R (1962) Nutritive influences on the distribution of dry matter in the plant. Neth. J Agric Sci 10:361–376Google Scholar
- Brouwer R (1983) Functional equilibrium: sense or nonsense. Neth J Agric Sci 31:335–348Google Scholar
- de Martonne E (1926) Traité De Géographie Physique. 3 tomes. ParisGoogle Scholar
- Ehleringer JR, Field CB (1993) Scaling physiological processes, leaf to globe. Academic Press, American, pp 388Google Scholar
- Kozlowski TT, Pallardy SG (1997) Physiology of woody plants. Academic Press, AmericanGoogle Scholar
- Sterner RW, Elser JJ (2002) Ecological stoichiometry: the biology of elements from molecules to the biosphere. Princeton University Press, AmericanGoogle Scholar
- Wang M, Su YZ, Yang R, Yang X (2013) Allocation patterns of above- and below-ground biomass in desert grassland in the middle reaches of Heihe River, Gansu Province, China. Chinese J. Plant Ecol 37:209–219 (Chinese)Google Scholar