Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2023-179
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2023-179
14 Nov 2023
 | 14 Nov 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG and is expected to appear here in due course.

Plant functional traits modulate the effects of soil acidification on above- and belowground biomass

Xue Feng, Ruzhen Wang, Tianpeng Li, Jiangping Cai, Heyong Liu, Hui Li, and Yong Jiang

Abstract. Atmospheric sulfur (S) deposition has been extensively recognized as a major driving force of soil acidification. However, little is known on how soil acidification influences above- and belowground biomass via altering leaf and root traits.

A 3-year elemental S addition were conducted to simulate soil acidification in a meadow. Grass (Leymus chinensis) and sedge (Carex duriuscula) species were chosen to demonstrate the linkage between plant traits and biomass.

Sulfur addition led to soil acidification and nutrient imbalance. For L. chinensis, soil acidification decreased specific leaf area but increased leaf dry matter content showing a conservative strategy and thus suppression of aboveground instead of belowground biomass. For C duriuscula, soil acidification increased plant height and root nutrients (N, P, S, and Mn) for competing resources by investing more on above- and belowground biomass, i.e., an acquisitive strategy. An overall reduction in community aboveground biomass by 3–33 % was resulted from the increased soil acidity. While the community root biomass increased by 11–22 % as upregulated by higher soil nutrient availability.

Our results provide new insights that plant above- and belowground biomass is conditioned by S-invoked acidification and their linkages with plant traits contributed to a deeper understanding of plant-soil feedback.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Xue Feng, Ruzhen Wang, Tianpeng Li, Jiangping Cai, Heyong Liu, Hui Li, and Yong Jiang

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2023-179', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Xue Feng, 10 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2023-179', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Xue Feng, 10 Feb 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2023-179', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Xue Feng, 10 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2023-179', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Xue Feng, 10 Feb 2024
Xue Feng, Ruzhen Wang, Tianpeng Li, Jiangping Cai, Heyong Liu, Hui Li, and Yong Jiang
Xue Feng, Ruzhen Wang, Tianpeng Li, Jiangping Cai, Heyong Liu, Hui Li, and Yong Jiang

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Short summary
Plant functional traits have been considered as reflecting the adaptations to environmental variations, indirectly affecting ecosystem productivity. How soil acidification affects above- and belowground biomass via altering leaf and root traits remains poorly understood. We found divergent trait responses driven by soil environmental conditions in two dominate species, leading to a decrease in aboveground biomass while an increase in belowground biomass.
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