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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2014 year, number 3

Variations in leaf and root stoichiometry of Nitraria tangutorum along aridity gradients in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China

Wang Nan1, Gao Jing2, Zhang Suiqi1, Wang Gen-Xuan2
1State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau Northwest A&F University, 712100, Chinа, Shaanxi, Yangling
2State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Institute of Ecology, 310058, Chinа, Hangzhou
Keywords: Nitraria tangutorum, ecological stoichiometry, leaf, root, aridity gradients

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and N: P ratios between leafs and roots of Nitraria tangutorum along aridity gradients were studied. N. tangutorum was relatively limited by N in April (mean leaf N: P ratio = 11.13) and by P in August (mean leaf N: P ratio = 38.78). N and P in both leaves and roots were highly correlated across sampling sites. In April both leaf and root N and P concentrations increased along aridity gradients. Mean leaf N: P ratios changed slightly, but mean root N: P ratios increased with increasing aridity gradients. We suggest that leaf N: P ratios can indicate nutrient status at different plant growth stages, and root N: P ratios can signify if the amount of soil nutrients is insufficient.