Leaf Nitrogen and Phosphorus Stoichiometry of Chinese fir Plantations across China: A Meta-Analysis
Leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry at a large geographical scale is the result of long-term adaptation to the environment. Therefore, the patterns of leaf N and P spatial distributions and their controlling factors represent an important issue in current ecological research. To explore the leaf stoichiometry of Chinese fir at a national level, we conducted a meta-analysis based on the dataset of the leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and the N:P ratio from 28
... :P ratio from 28 study sites across China. For all of the age groups considered, the average concentrations of the leaf N and P concentrations and the N:P ratio were 11.94 mg g−1, 1.04 mg g−1, and 12.93, respectively. Significant differences were found in the leaf P concentration and N:P ratio between the five age groups, while the differences in the leaf N concentration between the groups were not significant. Linear fitting results indicated that the leaf P concentration decreased, and the leaf N:P ratio increased with the increase of the MAT (mean annual temperature) and soil N concentration. Redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed that the first axis, with an explanatory quantity of 0.350, indicated that the MAT (mean annual temperature), soil nitrogen concentration and stand age had a good relationship with the leaf P concentration and N:P ratio, while the second axis, with an explanatory quantity of 0.058, indicated that the leaf N concentration was less affected by the environmental factors. These results demonstrate that the leaf P concentration and N:P ratio are affected by the stand age, an uneven distribution of the heat and soil nutrient concentration status, and N, as the limiting element, remaining relatively stable. Overall, our findings revealed the response of leaf stoichiometric traits to environment change, which benefits the management of Chinese fir plantations.