Nutrient addition enhances carbon sequestration in soil but not plant biomass in coastal shelter plantations.

Fan, Yingxu and Wang, Faming and Sayer, Emma and Liu, Zhanfeng and Mo, Qifeng and Xu, Xin and Li, Yingwen and Zou, Bi and Li, Yongxing and Zhang, Jingfan and Li, Zhian (2021) Nutrient addition enhances carbon sequestration in soil but not plant biomass in coastal shelter plantations. Land Degradation and Development. ISSN 1085-3278 (In Press)

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Casuarina equisetifolia plantations have been widely established along tropical and subtropical coasts, where they act as a windbreak to shelter coastal areas. These shelter plantations also fulfill important ecosystem service by sequestering large amounts of carbon (C). However, shelter plantations are usually established on nutrient-poor sand dunes, which may limit tree growth and therefore C sequestration rates. To assess whether fertilization increases the C sequestration of coastal shelter plantations, we conducted a fertilization experiment in a young C. equisetifolia plantation with four treatments: nitrogen addition (+N), phosphorus addition (+P), nitrogen and phosphorus addition (+NP), and controls (CK). We quantified nutrient availability and annual net ecosystem production (NEP) during the key early establishment phase. Fertilization with +N and + P significantly increased ammonium-N and extractable P in the surface soils and the N and P concentrations of branches, respectively. Surprisingly, the mean growth rate of C. equisetifolia plantations (24.59 ± 0.66 Mg ha−1 yr−1) was not affected by fertilization. The mean NEP was 6.18 ± 0.49 Mg C ha−1 yr−1, and there was no difference among fertilization treatments. However, soil organic C significantly increased by 41% and 36% with +N and + P, respectively, but not +NP. C. equisetifolia plantations can sequester large amounts of C in biomass on poor soils without the need for additional nutrients, although fertilization may enhance soil C storage. Considering the potential large planting area, we suggest that coastal C. equisetifolia shelter plantations could be an important nature-based solution for climate change mitigation in coastal regions.

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Journal Article
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Land Degradation and Development
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Deposited On:
13 Sep 2021 16:10
In Press
Last Modified:
06 Oct 2021 08:28