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Fire Intensity Affects the Relationship between Species Diversity and the N Utilization Stability of Dominant Species

Author(s): Zhaopeng Song, Yanhong Liu
Year Published: 2019
Description:

Stabilizing the local elemental stoichiometry is an important step toward restoring species diversity in a damaged ecosystem, especially those affected by wildfire. Stability of nitrogen (N) utilization is mainly affected by wildfire through restoration, which is one of the most important parts of stoichiometric utilization. However, the mechanisms underlying the relationship between N utilization stability and species diversity are not well understood in burned areas. We investigated variation in species diversity and in the stability of leaf N utilization of locally dominant tree species in a series of burned areas during early community restoration following wildfires of different intensities. This study shows that low fire intensity led to an increase in the soil N concentration, and significantly affected the utilization of leaf N. With higher fire intensity, the leaf N concentration first decreased, and then increased as fire intensity increased. The dominant trees showed more stable N utilization at a medium intensity, compared with other intensities, but the stability of N utilization was overall higher for the dominant species than for the regenerating pioneer species. We also concluded that other soil nutrients altered the stability of plant N utilization, which we found was closely related to species diversity during restoration. The Shannon index and N utilization stability in burned areas were most significantly correlated. The N utilization stability regulation between soil total nitrogen (STN) and leaf total nitrogen (LTN) (HSTN-LTN) of Betula platyphylla Suk (BPS) correlated significantly and positively with the increase of the Shannon index (H), but the HSMN-LTN of the dominant species correlated significantly and negatively with H.

Citation: Song Z, and Liu Y. 2019. Fire Intensity Affects the Relationship between Species Diversity and the N Utilization Stability of Dominant Species. Forests, 10(3), 207. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030207
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 19307
FRAMES RCS number: 57563
Record updated: Apr 10, 2019