Plant Community Dynamics in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem in Relation to Nutrient Addition Following a Major Disturbance
Plant & Soil
Effects of annual additions of mineral N and P (100 kg ha−1) on plant species composition and annual aboveground net primary production (ANPP) were investigated during the first three years following disturbance in a semi-arid ecosystem. Additions of N reduced richness of perennial plant species during years 2 and 3, while P reduced the number of perennial species only in year 3. From year 1 to year 2, annual and biennial species richness declined in all treatments while ANPP of annual species increased greatly. Added N increased ANPP of annual species while it decreased ANPP of most perennial species relative to the unfertilized control treatment. Community similarities were higher for the control and native vegetation than for other pairs of treatments using both species presence and plant production data. Nitrogen additions have retarded but not completely arrested secondary succession in this system.
Carpenter, A.T., J.C. Moore, E.F. Redente, and J.M. Stark. 1990. Plant community dynamics in a semi-arid ecosystem in relation to nutrient addition following a major disturbance. Plant & Soil 126:91-99.