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Determinants of the N content of Quercus wutaishanica leaves in the Loess Plateau: a structural equation modeling approach.
Sci Rep ; 6: 26845, 2016 05 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27228948
ABSTRACT
Most terrestrial ecosystems are nitrogen (N)-limited. The elucidation of the multivariate relationships among environmental drivers, leaf morphological traits, and foliar N of dominant species which are critical to the functioning of forests remains a critical challenge for ecologists. We sampled leaves of Quercus wutaishanica across a broad natural gradient in the Loess Plateau, China, and employed structural equation modelling to evaluate the causal pathways and the relative importance of drivers of the foliar N per unit area (Narea) and per unit mass (Nmass). We found that (1) Nmass and Narea were primarily affected by leaf morphological traits instead of environmental variables and that leaf morphological traits accounted for most of their variations; (2) the total soil potassium and phosphorus and mean annual precipitation had different effects on Nmass and Narea via different pathways and path coefficients, whereas the mean annual temperature and total soil N had non-significant effects on Nmass and Narea. Our results demonstrated that variations in Nmass and Narea within Quercus wutaishanica were strongly linked to their leaf morphological traits and that the leaf N was also influenced by mean annual precipitation and soil phosphorus and potassium instead of soil N in the Loess Plateau, China.

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Texto completo: Disponível Coleções: Bases de dados internacionais Base de dados: MEDLINE Idioma: Inglês Revista: Sci Rep Ano de publicação: 2016 Tipo de documento: Artigo País de afiliação: China