Soil C, N, and P distribution as affected by plant communities in the Yellow River Delta, China

Autoři: Shuying Jiao aff001;  Junran Li aff002;  Yongqiang Li aff001;  Jiwen Jia aff001;  Ziyun Xu aff001
Působiště autorů: College of Resources and Environment, National Engineering Laboratory for Efficient Utilization of Soil and Fertilizer Resources, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an, Shandong, China aff001;  Department of Geosciences, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, United States of America aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226887


Soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are important soil properties linked to nutrient limitation and plant productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Up to 90% of the Yellow River Delta (YRD), China has been affected by soil salination due to groundwater overdraft, improper irrigation, land use and land cover change. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of different plant communities on soil quality in a saline-alkaline system of the YRD. We investigated the vertical distribution and seasonal variation of soil C, N, and P, and C:N ratio by choosing four dominant plant communities, namely, alfalfa grassland (AG), Chinese tamarisk (CT), locust forest (LF) and cotton field (CF). The results showed that the concentrations of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) in CT and LF were always higher than that in AG and CF, especially in the topsoil layer (p<0.05), then gradually decreased with soil depth increasing (p<0.05). The C:N ratio was generally lower, and the average C:N ratio was higher in LF (11.55±1.99) and CT (11.03±0.47) than in CF (10.05±1.25) and AG (9.11±1.11) (p<0.05). The available phosphorus (AP) was highest in CT in Spring, while it was highest in CF in Summer and Autumn. It is worth noting that the soil AP concentrations were always low, particularly in AG (< 6.29 mg kg-1) and LF (< 4.67 mg kg-1), probably linked to P poorly mobile in the saline-alkaline region. In this study, soil nutrients in natural plant communities are superior to farmland, and are significantly affected by the types of plant community; therefore, we suggest that protection of natural vegetation and development of optimal vegetation are critical to restoring land degradation in the YRD.

Klíčová slova:

Cotton – Edaphology – Grasslands – Locusts – Plant communities – Soil ecology – Spring – Alfalfa


1. Bui EN, Henderson BL. C:N:P stoichiometry in Australian soils with respect to vegetation and environmental factors. Plant and Soil. 2013; 373(1–2): 553–568. doi: 10.1007/s11104-013-1823-9

2. Fan H, Wu J, Liu W, Yuan Y, Hu L, Cai Q. Linkages of plant and soil C:N:P stoichiometry and their relationships to forest growth in subtropical plantations. Plant and Soil. 2015; 392(1–2): 127–138. doi: 10.1007/s11104-015-2444-2

3. Hume A, Chen HYH, Taylor AR, Kayahara GJ, Man R. Soil C:N:P dynamics during secondary succession following fire in the boreal forest of central Canada. Forest Ecol Manag. 2016; 369:1–9. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.03.033

4. Shrestha RK, Strahm BD, Sucre EB. Greenhouse gas emissions in response to nitrogen fertilization in managed forest ecosystems. New Forests. 2015; 46(2): 167–193. doi: 10.1007/s11056-014-9454-4

5. Pan P, Zhao F, Ning JK, Zhang L, Ouyang XZ, Zang H. Impact of understory vegetation on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamic in aerially seeded Pinus massoniana plantations. PLoS One. 2018; 13(1):e0191952. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191952 29377926.

6. Tipping E, Somerville CJ, Luster J. The C:N:P:S stoichiometry of soil organic matter. Biogeochemistry. 2016; 130(1–2):117–131. doi: 10.1007/s10533-016-0247-z

7. Huang DD, Liu SX, Zhang XP, Xu JP, Wu LJ, Lou YJ. Constitute and organic carbon distribution of soil aggregates under conservation tillage. Journal of Agro-Environment Science. 2012; 31(8):1560–1565 (in Chinese).

8. Zheng HB, Liu WR, Zheng JY, Luo Y, Li RP, Wang H, et al. Effect of long-term tillage on soil aggregates and aggregate-associated carbon in black soil of northeast china. PLoS One. 2018; 13(6): e0199523. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199523 29953462.

9. Wang CH, Zhu F, Zhao X, Dong KH. The effects of N and P additions on microbial N transformations and biomass on saline-alkaline grassland of Loess Plateau of Northern China. Geoderma. 2014; 213:419–425. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2013.08.003

10. Vitousek PM, Howarth RW. Nitrogen limitation on land and sea: how can it occur. Biogeochemistry. 1991; 13(2):87–115. doi: 10.1007/BF00002772

11. Li XG, Li YK, Li FM, Ma Q, Zhang PL, Yin P. Changes in soil organic carbon, nutrients and aggregation after conversion of native desert soil into irrigated arable land. Soil Till Res. 2009; 104(2): 263–269. doi: 10.1016/j.still.2009.03.002

12. Andrew S, Hubert T. Phosphorus research strategies to meet agricultural and environmental challenges of the 21st century. J Environ Qual. 2000; 29(1): 176–. doi: 10.2134/jeq2000.00472425002900010022x

13. Vitousek PM, Porder S, Houlton BZ, Chadwick OA. Terrestrial phosphorus limitation: mechanisms, implications, and nitrogen-phosphorus interactions. Ecol Appl. 2010; 20(1): 5–15. doi: 10.1890/08-0127.1 20349827

14. Schoumans OF, Groenendijk P. Modeling soil phosphorus levels and phosphorus leaching from agricultural land in the Netherlands. J Environ Qual. 2000; 29(1):111–116. doi: 10.2134/jeq2000.00472425002900010014x

15. Yuan ZY, Chen HYH. Decoupling of nitrogen and phosphorus in terrestrial plants associated with global changes. Nat Clim Change. 2015; 5(5):465–469. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2549

16. Sardans J, Rivas-Ubach A, Peñuelas J. The C:N:P stoichiometry of organisms and ecosystems in a changing world: a review and perspectives. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics. 2012; 14(1):0–47. doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2011.08.002

17. Ferreira V, Goncalves AL, Godbold DL, Canhoto C. Effect of increased atmospheric CO2 on the performance of an aquatic detritivore through changes in water temperature and litter quality. Global Change Biol. 2010; 16(12):3284–3296. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02153.x

18. Batjes N. Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the world. Eur J Soil Sci. 2014; 65:10–21. doi: 10.1111/ejss.12114-2

19. Griffiths BS, Spilles A, Bonkowski M. C:N:P stoichiometry and nutrient limitation of the soil microbial biomass in a grazed grassland site under experimental P limitation or excess. Ecological Processes. 2012; 1(1):6. doi: 10.1186/2192-1709-1-6

20. Wang YP, Law RM, Pak B. A global model of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles for the terrestrial biosphere. Biogeosciences. 2010; 7(7):2261–2282. doi: 10.5194/bg-7-2261-2010

21. Bai JH, Zhang GL, Zhao QQ, Lu QQ, Jia J, Cui BS, et al. Depth-distribution patterns and control of soil organic carbon in coastal salt marshes with different plant covers. Sci Rep. 2016; 6:34835. doi: 10.1038/srep34835 27708421

22. Manning P, De Vries FT, Tallowin JRB, Smith R, Mortimer SR, Pilgrim ES, et al. Simple measures of climate, soil properties and plant traits predict national-scale grassland soil carbon stocks. J Appl Ecol. 2015; 52(5): 1188–1196. 10.1111/1365-2664.12478

23. Wang JJ, Bai JH, Zhao QQ, Lu QQ, Xia ZJ. Five-year changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in coastal wetlands affected by flow sediment regulation in a Chinese Delta. Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 21137. 10.1038/srep21137. doi: 10.1038/srep21137 26879008

24. Xu JZ, Yang SH, Peng SZ, Wei Q, Gao XL. Solubility and leaching risks of organic carbon in paddy soils as affected by irrigation managements. J Sci World. 2013; 1–9. doi: 10.1155/2013/546750 23935423.

25. Wang B, Liu GB, Xue S. Changes in soil physicochemical and microbiological properties during natural succession on abandoned farmland in the Loess Plateau, Environ Earth Sci. 2011; 62(5):915–925. doi: 10.1007/s12665-010-0577-4

26. Zhang C, Liu G, Xue S, Sun C. Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen storage as affected by land use in a small watershed of the Loess Plateau, China. Eur J Soil Biol. 2013; 54:16–24. doi: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2012.10.007

27. Zhang TJ, Wang YW, Wang XG, Wang QZ, Han JG. Organic carbon and nitrogen stocks in reed meadow soils converted to alfalfa fields. Soil Till Res. 2009; 105(1):143–148. doi: 10.1016/j.still.2009.06.007

28. Zhang ZS, Lu XG, Song XL, Guo Y, Xue ZS. Soil C, N and P stoichiometry of Deyeuxia angustifolia and Carex lasiocarpa wetlands in Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China. J Soils Sediments. 2012; 12(9):1309–1315. doi: 10.1007/s11368-012-0551-8

29. Gallaher RN, Weldon CO, Boswell FC. A semiautomated procedure for total nitrogen in plant and soil samples. Soil Sci Soc Am J. 1976; 40(6):887–889. doi: 10.2136/sssaj1976.03615995004000060026x

30. Bao SD. Soil Agro-Chemistry Analysis. China Agriculture Press, Beijing. 2005; 6–85 (in Chinese).

31. Müller M, Oelmann Y, Schickhoff U, Böhner J, Scholten T. Himalayan treeline soil and foliar C:N:P stoichiometry indicate nutrient shortage with elevation. Geoderma. 2017; 291: 21–32. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.12.015

32. Qi Y, Chen T, Pu J, Yang F, Shukla MK, Chang Q. Response of soil physical, chemical and microbial biomass properties to land use changes in fixed desertified land. Catena. 2018;160:339–344. doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2017.10.007

33. Ghosh BN, Meena VS, Alam NM, Dogra P, Bhattacharyya R, Sharma NK, Mishra PK. Impact of conservation practices on soil aggregation and the carbon management index after seven years of maize-wheat cropping system in the Indian himalayas. Agr Ecosyst Environ. 2016; 216:247–257. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2015.09.038

34. Hu C, Li F, Xie YH, Deng ZM, Chen XS. Soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stoichiometry of three dominant plant communities distributed along a small-scale elevation gradient in the East Dongting Lake. Phys Chem Earth, Part A/B/C. 2017; 103: S1474706516302546. doi: 10.1016/j.pce.2017.04.001

35. Curiel YJ, Baldocchi DD, Gershenson A, Goldstein A, Misson L, Wong S. Microbial soil respiration and its dependency on carbon inputs, soil temperature and moisture. Global Change Biol. 2007; 13(9): 2018–2035. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01415.x

36. Chen XS, Li YF, Xie YH, Deng ZM, Li X, Li F, et al. Trade-off between allocation to reproductive ramets and rhizome buds in Carex brevicuspis populations along a small-scale elevational gradient. Sci Rep. 2015; 5(1):12688. doi: 10.1038/srep12688

37. Ford H, Garbutt A, Ladd C, Malarkey J, Skov MW. Soil stabilization linked to plant diversity and environmental context in coastal wetlands. J Veg Sci. 2016; 27(2):259–268. doi: 10.1111/jvs.12367 27867297

38. Hurisso TT, Norton JB, Norton U. Soil profile carbon and nitrogen in prairie, perennial grass-legume mixture and wheat-fallow production in the central high plains, USA. Agric Ecosyst Environ. 2013; 181:179–187. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2013.10.008

39. Sanford GR, Posner JL, Jackson RD, Kucharik CJ. Soil carbon lost from Mollisols of the North Central U.S.A. with 20 years of agricultural best management practices. Agric Ecosyst Environ. 2012; 162:68–76. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2012.08.011

40. Huang LB, Bai JH, Chen B, Zhang KJ, Huang C, Liu PP. Two-decade wetland cultivation and its effects on soil properties in salt marshes in the Yellow River Delta, China. Ecological Informatics. 2012; 10: 49–55. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2011.11.001

41. Luo XX, Dun M, Yan Q. Dynamics distribution and influence factors of soil phosphorus in Yellow River Estuary wetland. Journal of soil and water conservation. 2011; 25 (5):154–160. doi: 10.13870/j.cnki.stbcxb.2011.05.041 (in Chinese).

42. Sun JN, Xu G, Shao HB. Fractionation and adsorption-desorption characteristics of phosphorus in newly formed wetland soils of Yellow River Delta, China. Geochimica; 2014; 43 (4):346–351. doi: 10.19700/j.0379-1726.2014.04.004 (in Chinese).

43. Sakadevan K, Bavor HJ. Phosphate adsorption characteristics of soils, slags and zeolite to be used as substrates in constructed wetland systems. Water Res. 1998; 32(2):393–399. doi: 10.1016/S0043-1354(97)00271-6

44. Tian HQ, Chen GS, Zhang C, Melillo JM, Hall CAS. Pattern and variation of C:N:P ratios in China's soils: a synthesis of observational data. Biogeochemistry. 2010; 98(1–3):139–151. doi: 10.2307/40647956

45. Qu F, Yu J, Du S, Li Y, Lv X, Ning K, et al. Influences of anthropogenic cultivation on C, N and P stoichiometry of reed-dominated coastal wetlands in the Yellow River Delta. Geoderma. 2014; 235–236:227–232. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.07.009

46. Cleveland CC, Liptzin D. C:N:P stoichiometry in soil: is there a "redfield ratio" for the microbial biomass?. Biogeochemistry. 2007; 85(3): 235–252. doi: 10.2307/20456544

47. Pan Y, Xie YH, Chen XS, Li F. Effects of flooding and sedimentation on the growth and physiology of two emergent macrophytes from Dongting Lake wetlands. Aquat Bot. 2012; 100: 35–40. doi: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2012.03.008

48. Lawrence BA, Zedler JB. Carbon storage by Carex stricta tussocks: a restorable ecosystem service?. Wetlands. 2013; 33(3):483–493. doi: 10.1007/s13157-013-0405-1

49. Xin CS, Dong HZ, Luo Z, Tang W, Zhang DM, Li WJ, et al. Effects of N, P, and K fertilizer application on cotton grown in saline soil in Yellow River Delta. Acta Agronomica Sinica. 2010; 36(10): 1698–1706. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2010.01698 (in Chinese).

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 12