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Article

Topsoil Nutrients Drive Leaf Carbon and Nitrogen Concentrations of a Desert Phreatophyte in Habitats with Different Shallow Groundwater Depths

by 1,2,3,*, 1,3,4, 1,3,5, 1,3,4, 1,3,4, 1,3,4, 1,3,4, 1,3,4, 1,3,4, 6 and 1,3,4,*
1
Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Desert Plant Roots Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2
National Engineering Technology Research Center for Desert-Oasis Ecological Construction, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
3
Cele National Station of Observation and Research for Desert-Grassland Ecosystems, Cele 848300, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
5
Lanzhou New District Urban Development Investment Group Co., Ltd., Lanzhou 730000, China
6
Department of Soil Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maria Mimikou
Water 2021, 13(21), 3093; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213093
Received: 23 September 2021 / Revised: 26 October 2021 / Accepted: 31 October 2021 / Published: 3 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrological Processes in Desert Regions)
Phreatophytes are deep-rooted plants that reach groundwater and are widely distributed in arid and semiarid areas around the world. Multiple environmental factors affect the growth of phreatophytes in desert ecosystems. However, the key factor determining the leaf nutrients of phreatophytes in arid regions remains elusive. This study aimed to reveal the key factors affecting the ecological stoichiometry of desert phreatophytes in the shallow groundwater of three oases at the southern rim of the Taklimakan Desert in Central Asia. Groundwater depth; groundwater pH and the degree of mineralization of groundwater; topsoil pH and salt concentration; topsoil and leaf carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus concentrations of phreatophytic Alhagi sparsifolia grown at groundwater depths of 1.3–2.2 m in the saturated aquifer zone in a desert–oasis ecotone in northwestern China were investigated. Groundwater depth was closely related to the mineralization degree of groundwater, topsoil C and P concentrations, and topsoil salt content and pH. The ecological stoichiometry of A. sparsifolia was influenced by depth, pH and the degree of mineralization of groundwater, soil nutrients and salt concentration. However, the effects of soil C and P concentrations on the leaf C and N concentrations of A. sparsifolia were higher than those of groundwater depth and pH and soil salt concentration. Moreover, A. sparsifolia absorbed more N in the soil than in the groundwater and atmosphere. This quantitative study provides new insights into the nutrient utilization of a desert phreatophyte grown at shallow groundwater depths in extremely arid desert ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological stoichiometry; Alhagi sparsifolia; groundwater table; soil salt; extremely arid region; ecological protection ecological stoichiometry; Alhagi sparsifolia; groundwater table; soil salt; extremely arid region; ecological protection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, B.; Tang, G.; Luo, H.; Yin, H.; Zhang, Z.; Xue, J.; Huang, C.; Lu, Y.; Shareef, M.; Gao, X.; Zeng, F. Topsoil Nutrients Drive Leaf Carbon and Nitrogen Concentrations of a Desert Phreatophyte in Habitats with Different Shallow Groundwater Depths. Water 2021, 13, 3093. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213093

AMA Style

Zhang B, Tang G, Luo H, Yin H, Zhang Z, Xue J, Huang C, Lu Y, Shareef M, Gao X, Zeng F. Topsoil Nutrients Drive Leaf Carbon and Nitrogen Concentrations of a Desert Phreatophyte in Habitats with Different Shallow Groundwater Depths. Water. 2021; 13(21):3093. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213093

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Bo, Gangliang Tang, Hanlin Luo, Hui Yin, Zhihao Zhang, Jie Xue, Caibian Huang, Yan Lu, Muhammad Shareef, Xiaopeng Gao, and Fanjiang Zeng. 2021. "Topsoil Nutrients Drive Leaf Carbon and Nitrogen Concentrations of a Desert Phreatophyte in Habitats with Different Shallow Groundwater Depths" Water 13, no. 21: 3093. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213093

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