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A plant-microbe interaction framework explaining nutrient effects on primary production
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
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2018 (English)In: Nature Ecology & Evolution, E-ISSN 2397-334X, Vol. 2, no 10, p. 1588-1596Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In most terrestrial ecosystems, plant growth is limited by nitrogen and phosphorus. Adding either nutrient to soil usually affects primary production, but their effects can be positive or negative. Here we provide a general stoichiometric framework for interpreting these contrasting effects. First, we identify nitrogen and phosphorus limitations on plants and soil microorganisms using their respective nitrogen to phosphorus critical ratios. Second, we use these ratios to show how soil microorganisms mediate the response of primary production to limiting and non-limiting nutrient addition along a wide gradient of soil nutrient availability. Using a meta-analysis of 51 factorial nitrogen-phosphorus fertilization experiments conducted across multiple ecosystems, we demonstrate that the response of primary production to nitrogen and phosphorus additions is accurately predicted by our stoichiometric framework. The only pattern that could not be predicted by our original framework suggests that nitrogen has not only a structural function in growing organisms, but also a key role in promoting plant and microbial nutrient acquisition. We conclude that this stoichiometric framework offers the most parsimonious way to interpret contrasting and, until now, unresolved responses of primary production to nutrient addition in terrestrial ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 2, no 10, p. 1588-1596
Keywords [en]
n-p stoichiometry carbon-use efficiency sub-arctic tundra phosphorus limitation terrestrial ecosystems nitrogen mineralization co-limitation resource limitation vascular plants global analysis
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161773DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0662-8ISI: 000447947600015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-161773DiVA, id: diva2:1261506
Available from: 2018-11-07 Created: 2018-11-07 Last updated: 2018-11-08Bibliographically approved

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Manzoni, StefanoHugelius, GustafPalmtag, Juri
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