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Effects of elevation and slope aspect on soil nitrogen and phosphorus distribution of western Sichuan Plateau shrub meadow(PDF)

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

2021 05
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Effects of elevation and slope aspect on soil nitrogen and phosphorus distribution of western Sichuan Plateau shrub meadow
CHE Mingxuan1 WU Qiang1 2 FANG Hao1 3 KANG Chengfang1 4 L? Chen1 XU Manjing1 & GONG Yuanbo1?
1 College of Forest, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China 2 Water Management Station of Luzhou Water Authority, Luzhou 646000, China 3 Jiange Management Station of Water Conservancy Project Construction, Guangyuan 628300, China 4 Gansu?Appraisal?Center?for?Eco-Environment?&?Engineering, Lanzhou 730000, China
shrub-meadow soil elevation slope aspect nitrogen phosphorus spatial distribution

Soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the most important nutrient elements for vegetation growth and development, and are also of great significance to ecosystem stability and the sustainable development of vegetation resource utilization. To understand the distribution of soil N and P in the shrub-meadow soil in western Sichuan Plateau, China, soil N and P fractions, as well as soil physiochemical properties, were investigated at three elevations (3 800 m, 4 000 m, and 4 200 m) and two slope aspects (semi-sunny and semi-shady). The results showed that in the study area, the total nitrogen (TN) content (2.04 ± 0.92 g/kg) was relatively rich whereas the total phosphorus (TP) content (0.43 ± 0.12 g/kg) was relatively deficient in comparison with the national level. Compared with the alpine shrub-meadow soils with similar vegetation types and environments, the higher N/P ratio (4.85 ± 1.97) in our study indicates that P was the main limiting factor for vegetation productivity. With increasing elevation, the increase in soil water content and the decrease in temperature were conducive to soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation. Both TN and TP tended to increase with increasing elevation. Correlation analysis showed that ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N; 4.86 ± 1.65 mg/kg), nitrate nitrogen (NO3--N; 2.19 ± 1.78 mg/kg), and available phosphorus (AP; 3.18 ± 1.75 mg/kg) were positively correlated with soil water content, but negatively correlated with soil pH. The content of NO3--N and AP at high elevation was significantly higher than that at low elevation, while there were no significant differences in NH4+-N among elevation gradients, which may be related to the distribution of temperature and pH. The slope aspect significantly affected the distribution of soil water content and pH. The soil in the NE slope aspect contained higher soil water content and lower soil pH than the SW slope aspect, and also contained higher mineral nitrogen and available phosphorus contents, while the difference between TN and TP was not significant. Our results showed that the contents of N and P fractions were generally higher at high elevations than at low elevations, and the mineral nitrogen and available phosphorus were higher in the NE slope aspect than in the SW slope aspect in alpine shrub meadow soil in the western Sichuan Plateau. This conclusion emphasizes the influence of elevation and slope aspect on the distribution of soil N and P, and provides scientific data and a theoretical basis for future studies on N and P cycling and regulation in alpine shrub meadows.


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Last Update: 2021-10-25