Imbalanced atmospheric nitrogen and phosphorus depositions in China

Implications for nutrient limitation

Jianxing Zhu, Qiufeng Wang, Nianpeng He, Melinda D. Smith, James Elser, Jiaqiang Du, Guofu Yuan, Guirui Yu, Qiang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atmospheric wet nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) depositions are important sources of bioavailable N and P, and the input of N and P and their ratios significantly influences nutrient availability and balance in terrestrial as well as aquatic ecosystems. Here we monitored atmospheric P depositions by measuring monthly dissolved P concentration in rainfall at 41 field stations in China. Average deposition fluxes of N and P were 13.69 ± 8.69 kg N ha−1 a−1 (our previous study) and 0.21 ± 0.17 kg P ha−1 a−1, respectively. Central and southern China had higher N and P deposition rates than northwest China, northeast China, Inner Mongolia, or Qinghai-Tibet. Atmospheric N and P depositions showed strong seasonal patterns and were dependent upon seasonal precipitation. Fertilizer and energy consumption were significantly correlated with N deposition but less correlated with P deposition. The N:P ratios of atmospheric wet deposition (with the average of 77 ± 40, by mass) were negatively correlated with current soil N:P ratios in different ecological regions, suggesting that the imbalanced atmospheric N and P deposition will alter nutrient availability and strengthen P limitation, which may further influence the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. The findings provide the assessments of both wet N and P deposition and their N:P ratio across China and indicate potential for strong impacts of atmospheric deposition on broad range of terrestrial ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1616
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Volume121
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Fingerprint

nutrient limitation
nutrients
Phosphorus
Nutrients
phosphorus
China
Nitrogen
nitrogen
terrestrial ecosystem
ecosystems
nutrient availability
Ecosystems
wet deposition
availability
nutrient balance
Availability
atmospheric deposition
ecoregions
Aquatic ecosystems
Mongolia

Keywords

  • ecological stoichiometry
  • N:P
  • nutrient limitation
  • wet deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Imbalanced atmospheric nitrogen and phosphorus depositions in China : Implications for nutrient limitation. / Zhu, Jianxing; Wang, Qiufeng; He, Nianpeng; Smith, Melinda D.; Elser, James; Du, Jiaqiang; Yuan, Guofu; Yu, Guirui; Yu, Qiang.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 121, No. 6, 01.06.2016, p. 1605-1616.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhu, Jianxing ; Wang, Qiufeng ; He, Nianpeng ; Smith, Melinda D. ; Elser, James ; Du, Jiaqiang ; Yuan, Guofu ; Yu, Guirui ; Yu, Qiang. / Imbalanced atmospheric nitrogen and phosphorus depositions in China : Implications for nutrient limitation. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 2016 ; Vol. 121, No. 6. pp. 1605-1616.
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