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Exploring Patterns of Soil Organic C, N and P Stoichiometry across Desert-grassland Transition Zone



 Soil carbon (C): nitrogen (N): phosphorus (P) stoichiometry plays a vital role in the biogeochemical processes, nutrient cycling and nutrient limits in terrestrial ecosystems. 

Recently, researchers from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have revealed how the pattern of soil organic C (SOC), total N (TN) and total P (TP) stoichiometry changes along a desert-grassland transition zone in northern China, a typical fragile ecosystem susceptible to climate extremes. 

Related results were published in CATENA on Oct. 17. 

In the study, the researchers found that contents and ratios of SOC, TN and TP in responses to climate factors, vegetation types and soil physicochemical properties were different and coordinated by various environmental factors. 

Precipitation, silt and clay content were the most important factors explaining the total variation in SOC, TN and TP stoichiometry. Climate, vegetation, and soil jointly impacted SOC, TN and TP stoichiometry. 

Besides, the structural equation models revealed the critical role of precipitation in regulating the effects of vegetation and soil physicochemical properties on SOC, TN and TP contents, and their ratios in arid zones. 

These results highlighted the importance of current climate change on soil organic C, TN and TP contents and C: N: P stoichiometry, as well as future climate change and its eco-impact in the desert-grassland transition zone. 



ZHAO Xueyong 



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