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Title: Global meta-analysis shows pervasive phosphorus limitation of aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) limitation of aboveground plant production is usually assumed to occur in tropical regions but rarely elsewhere. Here we report that such P limitation is more widespread and much stronger than previously estimated. In our global meta-analysis, almost half (46.2%) of 652 P-addition field experiments reveal a significant P limitation on aboveground plant production. Globally, P additions increase aboveground plant production by 34.9% in natural terrestrial ecosystems, which is 7.0–15.9% higher than previously suggested. In croplands, by contrast, P additions increase aboveground plant production by only 13.9%, probably because of historical fertilizations. The magnitude of P limitation also differs among climate zones and regions, and is driven by climate, ecosystem properties, and fertilization regimes. In addition to confirming that P limitation is widespread in tropical regions, our study demonstrates that P limitation often occurs in other regions. This suggests that previous studies have underestimated the importance of altered P supply on aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [2];  [4];  [4]
  1. Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Center of Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510650, China; Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
  2. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Center for Ecosystem Science and Society
  3. Australian Rivers Institute, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, 4111, Australia
  4. Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Center of Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510650, China
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC); National Science Foundation (NSF); ORNL; Northern Arizona University
OSTI Identifier:
1624246
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0006982; SC0014085; 31870464; 41973076; 41471443; 41401326; DEB 1655499; 4000158404; 4000161830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Science & Technology - Other Topics

Citation Formats

Hou, Enqing, Luo, Yiqi, Kuang, Yuanwen, Chen, Chengrong, Lu, Xiankai, Jiang, Lifen, Luo, Xianzhen, and Wen, Dazhi. Global meta-analysis shows pervasive phosphorus limitation of aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-14492-w.
Hou, Enqing, Luo, Yiqi, Kuang, Yuanwen, Chen, Chengrong, Lu, Xiankai, Jiang, Lifen, Luo, Xianzhen, & Wen, Dazhi. Global meta-analysis shows pervasive phosphorus limitation of aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems. United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-14492-w.
Hou, Enqing, Luo, Yiqi, Kuang, Yuanwen, Chen, Chengrong, Lu, Xiankai, Jiang, Lifen, Luo, Xianzhen, and Wen, Dazhi. Fri . "Global meta-analysis shows pervasive phosphorus limitation of aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems". United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-14492-w. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1624246.
@article{osti_1624246,
title = {Global meta-analysis shows pervasive phosphorus limitation of aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems},
author = {Hou, Enqing and Luo, Yiqi and Kuang, Yuanwen and Chen, Chengrong and Lu, Xiankai and Jiang, Lifen and Luo, Xianzhen and Wen, Dazhi},
abstractNote = {Phosphorus (P) limitation of aboveground plant production is usually assumed to occur in tropical regions but rarely elsewhere. Here we report that such P limitation is more widespread and much stronger than previously estimated. In our global meta-analysis, almost half (46.2%) of 652 P-addition field experiments reveal a significant P limitation on aboveground plant production. Globally, P additions increase aboveground plant production by 34.9% in natural terrestrial ecosystems, which is 7.0–15.9% higher than previously suggested. In croplands, by contrast, P additions increase aboveground plant production by only 13.9%, probably because of historical fertilizations. The magnitude of P limitation also differs among climate zones and regions, and is driven by climate, ecosystem properties, and fertilization regimes. In addition to confirming that P limitation is widespread in tropical regions, our study demonstrates that P limitation often occurs in other regions. This suggests that previous studies have underestimated the importance of altered P supply on aboveground plant production in natural terrestrial ecosystems.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-020-14492-w},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

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