Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Stocks and Stoichiometry of Soil Organic Carbon, Total Nitrogen, and Total Phosphorus after Vegetation Restoration in the Loess Hilly Region, China

Version 1 : Received: 17 November 2018 / Approved: 20 November 2018 / Online: 20 November 2018 (09:35:23 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Xu, H.; Qu, Q.; Li, P.; Guo, Z.; Wulan, E.; Xue, S. Stocks and Stoichiometry of Soil Organic Carbon, Total Nitrogen, and Total Phosphorus after Vegetation Restoration in the Loess Hilly Region, China. Forests 2019, 10, 27. Xu, H.; Qu, Q.; Li, P.; Guo, Z.; Wulan, E.; Xue, S. Stocks and Stoichiometry of Soil Organic Carbon, Total Nitrogen, and Total Phosphorus after Vegetation Restoration in the Loess Hilly Region, China. Forests 2019, 10, 27.

Journal reference: Forests 2019, 10, 27
DOI: 10.3390/f10010027

Abstract

The Loess Plateau is an important region for vegetation restoration in China, however, changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), soil nutrients, and stoichiometry after restoration in this vulnerable ecoregion are not well understood. Typical restoration types, including orchardland (OL), grassland (GL), shrubland (SL), and forestland (FL) were chosen to examine changes in the stocks and stoichiometry of SOC, soil total nitrogen (TN), and soil total phosphorus (TP) at different soil depths and recovery times. Results showed that SOC stocks first increased and then stabilized in OL, GL, and SL at 0–30 cm depth, while in FL, stocks gradually increased. Soil TN stocks first increased and then decreased in OL, SL, and FL with vegetation age at 0–30 cm depth, while soil TP stocks showed little variation between restoration types. In the later stages of restoration, the stocks of SOC and soil TN at 0–30 cm soil depth were still lower than those in natural grassland (NG) and natural forest (NF). The overall C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios increased with vegetation age. Additionally, the SOC, soil TN and soil TP stocks, and C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios decreased with soil depth. The FL had the highest rate of change in SOC and soil TN stocks, at 0-10 cm soil depth. These results indicate a complex response of SOC, soil TN, and soil TP stocks and stoichiometry to vegetation restoration, which could have important implications for understanding C, N, and P changes and nutrient limitations after vegetation restoration.

Subject Areas

soil stoichiometry; soil nutrient; nutrient limitations; natural grassland; natural forest

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