Responses of old-field vegetation to spatially homogenous or heterogenous fertilisation: implications for resources utilization and restoration
Wybrane pełne teksty z tego czasopisma
A vailability and heterogeneity of resources have a strong influence on community biomass and diversity, which provided a valuable opportunity to evaluate the responses of vegetation on fertilization, to test whether fertilisation can accelerate vegetation restoration in infertile lands. In loess hilly region of China, most newly abandoned infertile lands often undergo heavy soil erosion. It is urgent to promote the restoration of these types of lands. As availability and heterogeneity of soil nutrients have a strong influence on plant community, we conducted a fertilisation experiment with three-factor treatments, to test whether fertilisation can promote the biomass and species richness of an Artemisia scoparia-dominated old field community. The three factors were: spatial patterns (homogeneity and heterogeneity), levels (low, medium and high), and scales (three levels with small, intermediate, and large patches) of fertiliser application. Above- and below-ground biomass and species richness were recorded. The responses of the plant community to the three factors were evaluated and compared with those of the control (no fertilisation). The results show that: (1) The application of fertiliser in either homogeneous or heterogeneous pattern significantly increased the above-ground and below-ground biomass of the plant community as compared with the control. (2) In heterogeneous conditions, the above-ground biomass in nutrient-rich patches was significantly greater than the expected value of 50%. Under intermediate and large scales of the low level and all scales of the medium and high levels, the proportion of 0.15 cm below-ground biomass was also significantly greater than 50%. (3) Both homogeneous and heterogeneous fertilisation greatly increased community richness as compared to the control. Fertilisation, particularly heterogeneous fertilisation, can effectively increase community biomass and diversity. Under patchy habitat, it seems that the responses of vegetation to heterogeneous fertilisation are related to the patches scale and the contrast among patches, nutrient usage efficiency, edge effects on plant and soil, and plant competition are responsible for the responses. The results also suggest that heterogeneous fertilisation should be applied widely in infertile old fields to accelerate secondary succession.
Bibliogr. 58 poz.,Rys., tab.,
- Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Science, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China ; State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Agriculture on the Loess Plateau, Yangling, Shaanxi 71, email@example.com
- 1. Abrams P.A. 1995 – Monotonic or unimodal diversity-productivity gradients: what does competition theory predict? – Ecology, 76: 2019–2027.
- 2. Baer S. G., Blair J.M., Collins S.L., Knapp A.K. 2004 – Plant community responses to resource availability and heterogeneity during restoration – Community Ecology, 139: 617–629.
- 3. Bowker M.A. 2007 – Biological soil crust rehabilitation in theory and practice: an underexploited opportunity – Restor. Ecol. 15: 13–23.
- 4. Bradshaw A.D. 1987 – Restoration: an acid test for ecology (In: Restoration ecology: a synthetic approach to ecological research, Eds: W.R. Jordan, M.E. Gilpin, J.D. Aber) – Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 23–29.
- 5. Briones O., Montaña C., Ezcurra E. 1998 Competition intensity as a function of resource availability in a semiarid ecosystem – Oecologia, 116: 365–372.
- 6. Caravaca F., Garcia C., Hernández M.T., Roldán A. 2002 – Aggregate stability changes after organic amendment and mycorrhizal inoculation in the afforestation of a semiarid site with Pinus halepensis – Appl. Soil Ecol. 19: 199–208.
- 7. Casper B.B., Cahill J.F. 1996 – Limited effects of soil nutrient heterogeneity on populations of Abutilon theophrasti (Malvaceae) – Am. J. Bot. 83: 333–341.
- 8. Chao A. 1987 – Estimating the population size for capture-recapture data with unequal catchability – Biometrics, 43: 783–791.
- 9. Day K.J., Hutchings M.J., John E.A. 2003 The effects of spatial pattern of nutrient supply on the early stages of growth in plant populations – J. Ecol. 91: 305–315.
- 10. Du F., Liang Z.S., Xu X.X., Shan L., Zhang X.C. 2007a – Community biomass of abandoned farmland and its effects on soil nutrition in the Loess hilly region of Northern Shaanxi, China – Acta Ecologica Sinica, 27: 1673–1683.
- 11. Du F., Shao H.B., Shan L., Liang Z.S., Shao M.A. 2007b – Secondary succession and its effects on soil moisture and nutrition in abandoned old-fields of hilly region of Loess Plateau, China – Colloid Surface B, 58: 278–285.
- 12. Einsmann J.C., Jones R.H., Pu M., Mitchell R.J. 1999 – Nutrient foraging traits in ten co-occurring plant species of contrasting life forms – J. Ecol. 87: 609–619.
- 13. Ewel J.J. 1987 – Restoration is the ultimate test of ecological theory (In: Restoration ecology: a synthetic approach to ecological research, Eds: W.R. Jordan, M.E. Gilpin, J.D. Aber) – Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 31–33.
- 14. Fransen B., de Kroon H., Berendse F. 1998 – Root morphological plasticity and nutrient acquisition of perennial grass species from habitats of different nutrient availability Oecologia, 115: 351–358.
- 15. Glenn-Lewin D.C., van der Maarel E. 1992 Patterns and processes of vegetation dynamics (In: Plant succession: theory and prediction, Eds: D.C. Glenn-Lewin, R.K. Peet, T.T.Veblen) – Chapman and Hall, London, pp. 11–59.
- 16. Grace J.B. 1999 – The factors controlling species density in herbaceous plant communities: an assessment. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics, 2: 1–28.
- 17. Grime J.P. 1979 – Plant strategies and vegetation processes – Wiley, New York.
- 18. Grime J.P. 1994 – The role of plasticity in exploiting environmental heterogeneity (In: Exploitation of environmental heterogeneity by plants, Eds: M.M.Caldwell, R.W. Pearcy) – Academic Press, San Diego, Calif, pp. 1–19.
- 19. Grubb P.J. 1977 – The maintenance of species-richness in plant communities: the importance of the regeneration niche – Biological Reviews, 52: 107–145.
- 20. Hobbs R.J., Norton D.A. 1996 – Towards a conceptual framework for restoration ecology Restor. Ecol. 4: 93–110.
- 21. Hubbell S.P. 2001 – A Unified Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography – Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
- 22. Huston M.A. 1979 – A general hypothesis of species diversity – Am. Nat. 113: 81–101.
- 23. Hutchings M.J., John E.A., Wijesinghe D.K. 2003 – Toward understanding the consequences of soil heterogeneity for plant populations and community – Ecology, 84: 2322–2334.
- 24. Jackson R.B., Caldwell M.M. 1996 – Integrating resource heterogeneity and plant plasticity: modelling nitrate and phosphate uptake in a patchy soil environment – J. Ecol. 84: 891–903.
- 25. Janssens F., Peeters A., Tallowin J.R.B., Bakker J.P., Bekker R.M., Fillat F., Oomes M.J.M. 1998 – Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity – Plant Soil, 202: 69–78.
- 26. Jordan W.R., Peters A., Allen E.B. 1988 Ecological restoration as a strategy for conserving biological diversity – Environ. Manage. 12: 55–72.
- 27. Kassen R., Buckling A., Bell G., Rainey P.B. 2000 – Diversity peaks at intermediate productivity in a laboratory microcosm – Nature, 406: 508–512.
- 28. Kleb H.R., Wilson S.D. 1997 – Vegetation effects on soil resource heterogeneity in prairie and forest – Am. Nat. 150: 283–298.
- 29. Kovar J.L., Barber S.A. 1989 – Reasons for differences among soils in placement of phosphorus for maximum predicted uptake – Soil Sci. Soc. of Am. J. 53: 1733–1736.
- 30. MacArthur R. H. 1970 – Species packing and competitive equilibria for many species – Theor. Popul. Biol. 1: 1–11.
- 31. Marrs R.H. 1993 – Soil fertility and nature conservation in Europe: theoretical considerations and practical management solutions – Adv. Ecol. Res. 24: 242–300.
- 32. McCook I.J. 1994 – Understanding ecological community succession: causal models and theories, a review – Vegetatio, 110: 115–147.
- 33. McLendon T., Redente E.F. 1992 – Effects of nitrogen limitation on species replacement dynamics during early secondary succession on a semiarid sagebrush site – Oecologia, 91: 312–317.
- 34. Morin P.J. 2000 – Biodiversity’s ups and downs Nature, 406: 463–464.
- 35. Nicotra A.B., Chazdon R.L., Iriate S.V.B. 1999 – Spatial heterogeneity of light and woody seedling regeneration in tropical wet forests – Ecology, 80: 1908–1926.
- 36. Palmer M.A., Ambrose R.F., Poff N.L. 1997 – Ecological theory and community restoration ecology – Restor. Ecol. 5: 291–300.
- 37. Pugnaire F.I., Luque M.T. 2001 – Changes in plant interactions along a gradient of environmental stress – Oikos, 93: 42–49.
- 38. Pywell R.F., Bullock J.M., Hopkins A., Walker K.J., Sparks T.H., Burkes M.J.W., Peel S. 2002 – Restoration of species-rich grassland on arable land: assessing the limiting processes using a multi-site experiment J. Appl. Ecol. 39: 294–309.
- 39. Pywell R.F., Webb N.R., Putwain P.D. 1994 – Soil fertility and its implications for the restoration of heathland on farmland in southern Britain – Biol. Conserv. 70: 169–181.
- 40. Robertson G.P., Huston M.A., Evans F.C., Tiedge J.M. 1988 – Spatial variability in a successional plant community: patterns of nitrogen availability – Ecology, 68: 744–748.
- 41. Robertson G.P., Crum J.R., Ellis B.G. 1993 – The spatial variability of soil resources following long-term disturbance – Oecologia, 96: 451–456.
- 42. Robinson D. 1994 – The responses of plants to non-uniform supplies of nutrients – New Phytol. 127: 635–674.
- 43. Robinson D., Hodge A., Griffiths B.S., Fitter A.H. 1999 – Plant root proliferation in nitrogen-rich patches confers competitive advantage – P. Roy. Soc. Lond. B, BioSci., B266: 431–435.
- 44. Rover M., Kaiser E. 1997 – Spatial heterogeneity within the plough layer: low and moderate variability of soil properties – Soil Biol. Biochem. 31: 175–187.
- 45. Schottelndreier M., Falkengren-Grerup U. 1999 – Plant induced alteration in the rhizosphere and the utilisation of soil heterogeneity – Plant Soil, 209: 297–309.
- 46. Schwinning S., Weiner J. 1998 – Mechanisms determining the degree of size asymmetry in competition among plants – Oecologia, 113: 447–455.
- 47. Shen Y.C., Hong Q.H. 2003 – Strategy to Control Soil Erosion Effectively in the Loess Plateau – Science of Soil and Water Conservation, 1: 22–27.
- 48. Srivastava D.S., Lawton J.H. 1998 – Why more productive sites have more species: an experimental test of theory using tree-hole communities – Am. Nat. 152: 510–529.
- 49. Stevens M.H.H., Carson W.P. 1999 – The significance of assemblage level thinning for species richness – J. Ecol. 87: 490–502.
- 50. Stevens M.H.H., Carson W.P. 2002 – Resource quantity, not resource heterogeneity, maintains plant diversity – Ecology letters, 5: 420–424.
- 51. Tilman, D. 1982 – Resources competition and community structure – Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ.
- 52. Tilman, D. 1984 – Plant dominance along an experimental nutrient gradient – Ecology, 65: 1445–1453.
- 53. Tilman, D. 1987 – Secondary succession and the pattern of plant dominance along experimental nitrogen gradients – Ecol. Monogr. 57: 189–214.
- 54. Wijesinghe D. K., Hutchings M. J. 1997 The effects of spatial scale of environmental heterogeneity on the growth of a clonal plant: an experimental study with Glechoma hederacea – J. Ecol. 85: 17–28.
- 55. Wijesinghe D. K. Hutchings, M. J. 1999 – The effects of environmental heterogeneity on the performance of Glechoma hederacea: the interactions between patch contrast and patch scale – J. Ecol. 87: 860–872.
- 56. Wijesinghe D. K., John E. A., Beurskens S., Hutchings M. J. 2001 – Root system size and precision in nutrient foraging: responses to spatial pattern of nutrient supply in six herbaceous species – J. Ecol. 89: 972–983.
- 57. Wu Q. X., Zhao H. Y., Han B. 2003 – Benefit and characteristics of grass-shrub vegetation for reducing soil erosion in loess hilly region – Acta Agrestia Sinica, 11: 23–26.
- 58. Zou H. Y., Cheng J. M., Zhou L., Akio H. 1998 – Natural Recovery Succession and Regulation of the Prairie Vegetation on the Loess Plateau – Research of Soil and Water Conservation, 5: 126–138.