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Plant and soil nutrient stoichiometry along primary ecological successions: Is there any link?

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dc.contributor.author Di Palo, Francesca
dc.contributor.author Fornara, Dario
dc.date.accessioned 2021-07-21T14:41:40Z
dc.date.available 2021-07-21T14:41:40Z
dc.date.issued 2017-08-07
dc.identifier http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12518/323
dc.identifier.citation Di Palo, F. and Fornara, D. A. (2017) ‘Plant and soil nutrient stoichiometry along primary ecological successions: Is there any link?’, PLOS ONE. Edited by A. Valentine, 12(8), p. e0182569. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182569. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 (electronic)
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182569
dc.description Publication history: Accepted - 20 July 2017; Published - 7 August 2017. en_US
dc.description.abstract Ecological stoichiometry suggests that plant Nitrogen (N)-to-Phosphorus (P) ratios respond to changes in both soil N:P stoichiometry and soil N and P availability. Thus we would expect that soil and plant N:P ratios be significantly related along natural gradients of soil development such as those associated with primary ecological successions. Here we explicitly search for linkages between plant and soil N:P stoichiometry along four primary successions distributed across Europe. We measured N and P content in soils and plant compartments (leaf, stem and root) of 72 wild plant species distributed along two sand dune and two glacier successions where soil age ranges from few to thousand years old. Overall we found that soil N:P ratios strongly increased along successional stages, however, plant N:P ratios were neither related to soil N:P stoichiometry nor to changes in soil N and P availability. Instead changes in plant nutrient stoichiometry were ªdrivenº by plant-functional-group identity. Not only N:P ratios differed between legumes, grasses and forbs but each of these plant functional groups maintained N:P ratios relatively constant across pioneer, middle and advanced successional stages. Our evidence is that soil nutrient stoichiometry may not be a good predictor of changes in plant N:P stoichiometry along natural primary ecological successions, which have not reached yet a retrogressive stage. This could be because wild-plants rely on mechanisms of internal nutrient regulation, which make them less dependent to changes in soil nutrient availability under unpredictable environmental conditions. Further studies need to clarify what underlying evolutionary and eco-physiological mechanisms determine changes in nutrient stoichiometry in plant species distributed across natural environmental gradients. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This research was funded by a Vice- Chancellor Scholarship from University of Ulster, UK. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher PLOS en_US
dc.rights © 2017 Di Palo, Fornara. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. en_US
dc.title Plant and soil nutrient stoichiometry along primary ecological successions: Is there any link? en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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