Different impacts of external ammonium and nitrate addition on plant growth in terrestrial ecosystems: A meta-analysis.

Author(s) Yan, L.; Xu, X.; Xia, J.
Journal Sci Total Environ
Date Published 2019 Oct 10
Abstract

Terrestrial plant growth is strongly limited by the availability of nitrogen (N). Atmospheric deposition of N has been rapidly increasing since the industrial revolution, associated with fast compositional shifts between ammonium- (NH) and nitrate-N (NO) globally. However, whether and how such composition changes of deposition will affect the response of terrestrial plant growth to N deposition remains unclear. To fill the gaps, this study quantified the different responses of terrestrial plants to external NH-N and NO-N additions. A meta-analysis was applied to compare the growth responses of 367 plant species to different forms of N addition from 210 N-fertilization experiments. In general, a greater response of plant growth to NH- N (+6.3% per g N) than NO-N (+1.0% per g N) addition was detected across all species. The larger response of plant growth to NH-N than NO-N addition was found in trees and forbs but not in shrubs and grasses. The NH-N and NO-N additions had contrasting effects on biomass allocation. For example, the NO-N addition increased biomass allocation to above-ground tissues, whereas the NH-N addition enhanced below- but not above-ground growth. These results generally reveal a higher response of plant growth to NH- N than NO-N addition in terrestrial ecosystems. The findings suggest that future predictions on the vegetation response to atmospheric N enrichment could benefit from a better understanding of plant strategies for acquiring different forms of N.

DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.448
ISSN 1879-1026
Citation Yan L, Xu X, Xia J. Different impacts of external ammonium and nitrate addition on plant growth in terrestrial ecosystems: A meta-analysis. Sci Total Environ. 2019;686:1010-1018.

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