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


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


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