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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Responses of plant community to the linkages in plant–soil C:N:P stoichiometry during secondary succession of abandoned farmlands, China

Abstract

Succession is one of the central themes of ecology; however, the relationship between aboveground plant communities and underground soils during secondary succession remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the composition of plant community, plant–soil C:N:P stoichiometry and their relationships during secondary succession after the abandonment of farmlands for 0, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 a in China, 2016. Results showed that the composition of plant communities was most diverse in the farmlands after secondary succession for 20 and 50 a. Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen contents slightly decreased after secondary succession for 30 a, but both were significantly higher than those of control farmland (31.21%–139.10% and 24.24%–121.21%, respectively). Moreover, C:N ratios of soil and microbe greatly contributed to the changes in plant community composition during secondary succession of abandoned farmlands, explaining 35.70% of the total variation. Particularly, soil C:N ratio was significantly and positively related with the Shannon–Wiener index. This study provides the evidence of synchronous evolution between plant community and soil during secondary succession and C:N ratio is an important linkage between them.

Keywords

C:N ratio; soil nutrient; plant community; restoration; loess hilly region

First Page

215

Last Page

226

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