Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1283–1298 | Cite as

Responses of Dodonaea viscosa growth and soil biological properties to nitrogen and phosphorus additions in Yuanmou dry-hot valley

  • Xue-mei Wang
  • Bang-guo Yan
  • Guang Zhao
  • Ji-xia Zhao
  • Liang-tao Shi
  • Gang-cai Liu


Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are limited nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems, and their limitation patterns are being changed by the increase in N deposition. However, little information concerns the plant growth and the soil biological responses to N and P additions among different soils simultaneously, and these responses may contribute to understand plant-soil interaction and predict plant performance under global change. Thus, this study aimed to explore how N and P limitation changes in different soil types, and reveal the relationship between plant and soil biological responses to nutrient additions. We planted Dodonaea viscosa, a globally distributed species in three soil types (Lixisols, Regosols and Luvisols) in Yuanmou dry-hot valley in Southwest China and fertilized them factorially with N and P. The growth and biomass characters of D. viscosa, soil organic matter, available N, P contents and soil carbon (C), N, P-related enzyme activities were quantified. N addition promoted the growth and leaf N concentration of D. viscosa in Lixisols; N limitation in Lixisols was demonstrated by lower soil available N with higher urease activity. P addition promoted the growth and leaf P concentration of D. viscosa in Luvisols; severe P limitation in Luvisols was demonstrated by a higher soil available N: P ratio with higher phosphatase activity. Urease activity was negatively correlated with soil available N in Nlimited Lixisols, and phosphatase activity was negatively correlated with soil available P in P-limited Luvisols. Besides, the aboveground biomass and leaf N concentration of D. viscosa were positively correlated with soil available N in Lixisols, but the aboveground biomass was negatively correlated with soil available P. Our results show similar nutrient limitation patterns between plant and soil microorganism in the condition of enough C, and the nutrient limitations differ across soil types. With the continued N deposition, N limitation of the Lixisols in dry hot valleys is expected to be alleviated, while P limitation of the Luvisols in the mountaintop may be worse in the future, which should be considered when restoring vegetation.


Nutrient limitation Nitrogenphosphorus Nitrogen deposition Soil enzyme Dryhot valley Dodonaea viscosa 


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This study was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41471232, 31460127).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological Regulation, Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water ResourcesChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Tropical Eco-agricultural SciencesYunnan Academy of Agricultural SciencesYuanmouChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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