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Plant species richness in a natural Argentinian matorral shrub-land correlates negatively with levels of plant phosphorus

Blanck, Ylva-Li; Gowda, Juan; Mårtensson, Linda-Maria LU ; Sandberg, Jakob LU and Fransson, Ann-Mari (2011) In Plant and Soil 345(1-2). p.11-21
Abstract
The aim of this study was to ascertain whether there is a relationship between plant species richness and plant-available N, P and water in an environment subject to little anthropogenic disturbance. To accomplish this we studied the vegetation in matorral shrub-lands in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Due to the variation in slope, precipitation and aspect between the sites water status was determined using the C-12/C-13 fraction, delta C-13, to investigate whether this was a confounding factor. The numbers of herb, shrub, liana and tree species were determined at 20 sites along an estimated precipitation gradient. Leaf P and N content and the delta C-13 of Berberis buxifolia were determined, as well as the soil P and N content at the... (More)
The aim of this study was to ascertain whether there is a relationship between plant species richness and plant-available N, P and water in an environment subject to little anthropogenic disturbance. To accomplish this we studied the vegetation in matorral shrub-lands in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Due to the variation in slope, precipitation and aspect between the sites water status was determined using the C-12/C-13 fraction, delta C-13, to investigate whether this was a confounding factor. The numbers of herb, shrub, liana and tree species were determined at 20 sites along an estimated precipitation gradient. Leaf P and N content and the delta C-13 of Berberis buxifolia were determined, as well as the soil P and N content at the different sites. A negative correlation was found between species richness and Berberis buxifolia foliar P concentration (52% of the species richness variation was accounted for), and a positive correlation was found between plant species richness and Berberis buxifolia foliar N: P ratios (54% of the species richness variation was accounted for). The relationship between species richness and foliar P was seen when all layers of vegetation were included (trees, lianas, shrubs and herbs). Foliar N showed no correlation with species richness, while soil extractable NH4 showed a weak positive correlation with the number of shrub layer species (lianas, shrubs and trees). The species richness of the shrub layer increased with decreasing values of delta C-13. Low soil P availability thus affects local species richness in the matorral shrub-lands of Patagonia in Argentina although the growth of vegetation in the area has been shown to be limited by N. We suggest that low P levels increase plant species richness because low soil P concentration is associated with a high P partitioning and high potential for niche separation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Available P, Available N, Species richness, C-13/C-12, Water, availability, Multiple resources, Andean mountains
in
Plant and Soil
volume
345
issue
1-2
pages
11 - 21
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000292999700002
  • scopus:79960562810
ISSN
0032-079X
DOI
10.1007/s11104-010-0671-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ab1dd0f3-5b98-4915-bffa-06553a745a04 (old id 2071792)
date added to LUP
2011-08-29 10:01:32
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:49:09
@article{ab1dd0f3-5b98-4915-bffa-06553a745a04,
  abstract     = {The aim of this study was to ascertain whether there is a relationship between plant species richness and plant-available N, P and water in an environment subject to little anthropogenic disturbance. To accomplish this we studied the vegetation in matorral shrub-lands in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Due to the variation in slope, precipitation and aspect between the sites water status was determined using the C-12/C-13 fraction, delta C-13, to investigate whether this was a confounding factor. The numbers of herb, shrub, liana and tree species were determined at 20 sites along an estimated precipitation gradient. Leaf P and N content and the delta C-13 of Berberis buxifolia were determined, as well as the soil P and N content at the different sites. A negative correlation was found between species richness and Berberis buxifolia foliar P concentration (52% of the species richness variation was accounted for), and a positive correlation was found between plant species richness and Berberis buxifolia foliar N: P ratios (54% of the species richness variation was accounted for). The relationship between species richness and foliar P was seen when all layers of vegetation were included (trees, lianas, shrubs and herbs). Foliar N showed no correlation with species richness, while soil extractable NH4 showed a weak positive correlation with the number of shrub layer species (lianas, shrubs and trees). The species richness of the shrub layer increased with decreasing values of delta C-13. Low soil P availability thus affects local species richness in the matorral shrub-lands of Patagonia in Argentina although the growth of vegetation in the area has been shown to be limited by N. We suggest that low P levels increase plant species richness because low soil P concentration is associated with a high P partitioning and high potential for niche separation.},
  author       = {Blanck, Ylva-Li and Gowda, Juan and Mårtensson, Linda-Maria and Sandberg, Jakob and Fransson, Ann-Mari},
  issn         = {0032-079X},
  keyword      = {Available P,Available N,Species richness,C-13/C-12,Water,availability,Multiple resources,Andean mountains},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {11--21},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Plant and Soil},
  title        = {Plant species richness in a natural Argentinian matorral shrub-land correlates negatively with levels of plant phosphorus},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-010-0671-0},
  volume       = {345},
  year         = {2011},
}