Productivity depends more on the rate than the frequency of N addition in a temperate grassland

Yunhai Zhang, Jinchao Feng, Forest Isbell, Xiaotao Lü, Xingguo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) is a key limiting resource for aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in diverse terrestrial ecosystems. The relative roles of the rate and frequency (additions yr-1) of N application in stimulating ANPP at both the community- and species-levels are largely unknown. By independently manipulating the rate and frequency of N input, with nine rates (from 0 to 50 g N m-2 year-1) crossed with two frequencies (twice year-1 or monthly) in a temperate steppe of northern China across 2008-2013, we found that N addition increased community ANPP, and had positive, negative, or neutral effects for individual species. There were similar ANPP responses at the community- or species-level when a particular annual amount of N was added either twice year-1 or monthly. The community ANPP was less sensitive to soil ammonium at lower frequency of N addition. ANPP responses to N addition were positively correlated with annual precipitation. Our results suggest that, over a five-year period, there will be similar ANPP responses to a given annual N input that occurs either frequently in small amounts, as from N deposition, or that occur infrequently in larger amounts, as from application of N fertilizers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12558
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2015

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primary productivity
grasslands
steppes
nitrogen fertilizers
China
nitrogen
soil

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Productivity depends more on the rate than the frequency of N addition in a temperate grassland. / Zhang, Yunhai; Feng, Jinchao; Isbell, Forest; Lü, Xiaotao; Han, Xingguo.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, 12558, 28.07.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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