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Nitrogen deposition influences the response of Potentilla tanacetifolia to phosphorus addition

Yang G1,2, Z Zhang1, G Zhang3, H Zhang2, X Han3, CA Busso4
1 Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai 201418, China.
2 Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 1100164, China.
3 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
4 Departamento de Agronomía-CERZOS (CONICET), Universidad Nacional del Sur, 8000 Bahía Blanca, Prov. de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Address correspondence to: Zhang Zhiguo, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2016, 85(all), 100-107.


Phosphorus is an essential macronutrient for all living plants and plant production. Simultaneously, atmospheric nitrogen deposition also affects plant productivity at a global scale. However, few studies have investigated how plants respond to P addition while simultaneously considering N deposition. We investigated plant biomass, nutrient status and stoichiometric ratios on Potentilla tanacetifolia in response to P fertilization under contrasting N addition rates in a typical meadow steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Aboveground biomass of P. tanacetifolia increased under increasing levels of P fertilization under conditions of N addition. However, there was no significant change in biomass when only phosphorus was added. Plant leaf and stem P concentrations increased linearly with P addition when there was no N addition. Our results suggest that increased plant P nutrition under P addition will not turn into plant growth enhancement unless N demands are also satisfied. Nitrogen addition significantly increased leaf N concentrations, and leaf and seed N:P ratios, when there was no P fertilization. Nevertheless, the effects of N addition were weakened, and eventually disappeared when P fertilization rates increased. This indicates that N-induced alterations of the plant nutrition status and stoichiometric ratios were P availability- dependent. Overall, our results suggest that multiple-nutrient constraints and their interactions must be considered when assessing plant nutrient and growth responses to nutrient enrichment.


Nitrogen, Phosphorus, N: P ratio, Plant organs.

Cite This Article

G, Y., Zhang, Z., Zhang, G., Zhang, H., Han, X. et al. (2016). Nitrogen deposition influences the response of Potentilla tanacetifolia to phosphorus addition. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 85(all), 100–107.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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