• Seasonal variations in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations and C:N:P stoichiometry in the leaves of differently aged Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. plantations

      Li, Hailiang; Crabbe, M. James C.; Xu, Fuli; Wang, Weiling; Niu, Ruilong; Gao, Xing; Zhang, Pei; Chen, Haikui; Northwest A & F University, Yangling; University of Oxford; et al. (MDPI, 2017-09-30)
      The concentrations and stoichiometry of certain elements (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) are critical to the maintenance of plant functional and environmental adaptation during plant growth. We explore how the concentrations of C, N and P and the ratios of C:N, C:P, and N:P in the leaves of differently aged Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. plantations changed with growing season and stand age from 2012 to 2015 in the Qinling Mountains, China. The results showed that the element concentration and stoichiometric ratios in leaves were significantly affected by sampling month, stand age and sampling year; and multiple correlations with stand age were observed in different growing seasons. Compared to global element concentrations and stoichiometry in plants, the leaves of larch stands in the study region had higher C and P concentrations and C:N and C:P ratios but lower N concentrations and N:P ratios than global levels. The leaf N:P ratios of all of the larch stands were generally less than 14, suggesting that the growth of larch stands was limited by N in the study region. Our study facilitates the management and restoration of forest plantation and provides a valuable contribution to the global pool of leaf nutrition and stoichiometry data.