University Of Tasmania
149342 - Ecological stoichiometry in Pinus massoniana l. plantation, increasing nutrient limitation in a 48-year chronosequence.pdf (1.8 MB)

Ecological stoichiometry in Pinus massoniana L. plantation: increasing nutrient limitation in a 48-year chronosequence

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posted on 2023-05-21, 06:33 authored by Ali, A, Hussain, M, Ali, S, Akhtar, K, Muhammad, MW, Zamir, A, Nizami, SM, Ahmad, B, Matthew HarrisonMatthew Harrison, Fahad, S, Zhou, Z, Yi, S
Stoichiometric ratios of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) are considered indicators of nutrient status and ultimate ecosystem health. A detailed investigation of these elements in the leaves, branches, forest layer vegetation and soil, depending on stand age, was carried out. We investigated the effects of stand age (9-, 18-, 28-, and 48-year) on the aboveground plant parts (leaf, branch, herb, shrub, plant litter) and belowground pools (soil, roots) of P. massoniana plantations. The CNP stoichiometry of trees was affected by stand age. Mean N content in the aboveground parts in the nine-yr stand was greater than the other stands (18-, 28-, 48-yr), which decreased with increasing stand age. As stands aged, the nutrient demands of the plantations increased as well as their N:P ratios in soil. C content in the soil ranged from 30 to 105, the total N was 0.06 to 1.6, and the total P content ranged from 3.3–6.4 g kg−1. Soil C, N and P contents were greatly influenced by both stand age and soil depth, because surface soil sequester C and N more actively compared to deeper horizons, and more nutrients are released to the topsoil by the plant litter layer. Similarly, the ratios of other layers had a similar pattern as CNP because more nutrients were taken up by the plantations, decreasing nutrient supply in the deeper soil horizons. The green leaves N:P ratios (16) indicate limited growth of P. massoniana, as the range for global nutrient limitation for woody plants oscillated between 14–16, indicating N and P limitation. Young stands were observed to have greater P content and P resorption efficiency (56.9%–67.3%), with lower C:P and N:P ratios (704.4; 14.8). We conclude that with stand development, the nutrient demands of the plantations also increase, and soil N:P stoichiometry shows that these improve soil quality.


Meat and Livestock Australia

Integrity Ag & Environment


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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)



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Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Carbon capture and storage; Hardwood plantations; Softwood plantations