J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (11): 1050-1056.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2009.00872.x

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Water Supply Changes N and P Conservation in a Perennial Grass Leymus chinensis

Ju-Ying Huang1,2, Hai-Long Yu3, Ling-Hao Li2, Zhi-You Yuan2* and Samuel Bartels4   

  1. 1 Center of New Technology Application and Research, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China
    2 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    3 College of Recourses and Environment, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China
    4 Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1, Canada )
  • Received:2009-04-02 Accepted:2009-07-28 Published:2009-11-10
  • About author: *Author for correspondence Tel/(Fax): +86 10 6283 6282; E-mail: zyyuan@ibcas.ac.cn


Changes in precipitation can influence soil water and nutrient availability, and thus affect plant nutrient conservation strategies. Better understanding of how nutrient conservation changes with variations in water availability is crucial for predicting the potential influence of global climate change on plant nutrient-use strategy. Here, green-leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations, N- and P resorption proficiency (the terminal N and P concentration in senescent leaves, NRP and PRP, respectively), and N- and P-resorption efficiency (the proportional N and P withdrawn from senescent leaves prior to abscission, NRE and PRE, respectively) of Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel., a typical perennial grass species in northern China, were examined along a water supply gradient to explore how plant nutrient conservation responds to water change. Increasing water supply at low levels (< 9000 mL/year) increased NRP, PRP and PRE, but decreased green-leaf N concentration. It did not significantly affect green-leaf P concentration or NRE. By contrast, all N and P conservation indicators were not significantly influenced at high water supply levels (> 9000 mL/year). These results indicated that changes in water availability at low levels could affect leaf-level nutrient characteristics, especially for the species in semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, global changes in precipitation may pose effects on plant nutrient economy, and thus on nutrient cycling in the plant-soil systems.

Huang JY, Yu HL, Li LH, Yuan ZY, Bartels S (2009). Water supply changes N and P conservation in a perennial grass Leymus chinensis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(11), 1050–1056.

Key words: green-leaf nutrient concentration, Leymus chinensis, nutrient resorption, nutrient conservation, water supply gradient

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