To examine responses of a plant species to nutrient availability, we investigated changes in soil nutrient availability, litterfall production and nutrient content in litterfall along a topographic gradient in a Pinus thunbergii Pad. plantation. Responses were evaluated in terms of three efficiency indices: (i) nutrient-uptake efficiency (the ratio of nutrient return in litterfall to soil nutrient availability); (ii) nutrient-use efficiency (the ratio of litterfall mass to nutrient return in litterfall); and (iii) nutrient-response efficiency (the ratio of litterfall mass to soil nutrient availability). These indices can distinguish the ability of a species to acquire nutrients and its ability to use them in litterfall production. Nitrogen and phosphorus availabilities in soil were lower in upper slope positions. The three efficiencies were higher in upper slope positions and negatively correlated with soil nutrient availability for both nitrogen and phosphorus. An increase in nutrient-response efficiency was achieved by both increases in nutrient-uptake and nutrient-use efficiencies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics