Most wetlands have been subject to changes in flooding regimes by climate change and human activities, resulting in widespread alteration of wetland plants at different organizational levels. However, scaling the responses of wetland plants to changes in flooding regimes is still challenging, because flooding could indirectly affect wetland plants through affecting environment factors (e.g. soil properties). During the non-flooding period, we investigated leaf N and P stoichiometry at three organizational levels (intra-species, inter-species, inter-community) along a flooding duration gradient in a lakeshore meadow of Poyang Lake floodplain, China. At the intra-species level, leaf N and P stoichiometry showed species-specific responses to flooding duration. At the inter-species level, leaf N or P contents or N:P ratio showed no significant response to flooding duration. At the inter-community level, leaf N and P contents significantly increased with flooding duration, while leaf N:P ratio decreased. At each organizational level, leaf N and P stoichiometry showed poor correlation with soil N and P stoichiometry. Moreover, intra-specific responses of leaf N and P contents to flooding duration and soil nutrient content increased with mean flooding duration of species distribution, which was the index of species hydrological niche. Intraspecific variation had lower contribution than species turnover to variations in community leaf nutrient stoichiometry. In all, flooding duration affected leaf N and P stoichiometry mainly through direct pathway at the intra-species and inter-community level, rather than the indirect pathway via soil nutrient stoichiometry. Therefore, our results have implications for scaling up from environmental conditions to ecosystem processes via wetland plant communities.
|Title||Scaling responses of leaf nutrient stoichiometry to the lakeshore flooding duration gradient across different organizational levels|
|Authors||Yasong Chen, Camille Stagg, Yongjiu Cai, Xiaotao Lü, Xiaolong Wang, Ruichang Shen, Zhichun Lan|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Science of the Total Environment|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|