Allocation strategies of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus following a gradient of wildfire severities

Zhaopeng Song, Zhaolei Li, Yiqi Luo, Yanhong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Wildfire is crucial in the regulation of nutrient allocation during the succession of boreal forests. However, the allocation strategies of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) between leaves and fine roots in response to wildfire severities remain poorly studied. We aimed to explore the allocation strategies of C, N and P between leaves and fine roots among different fire severities. We selected four wildfire severities (unburned, low, moderate and high severity) after 10 years recovery in the Great Xing'an Mountains, northeast China, and compared C, N and P concentrations in leaves and fine roots of all species among fire severities using stoichiometry theory and allometric growth equations. Compared with unburned treatment, C concentrations in leaves and fine roots increased at low severity, and leaf N concentration was the greatest at high severity, but the lowest fine root N concentration occurred at high severity. Plant nutrient utilization tended to be P-limited at high fire severity according to the mean value of N:P ratio > 16. More importantly, C, N and P allocation strategies between fine roots and leaves changed from allometry to isometry with increasing fire severities, which showed more elements allocated to leaves than to fine roots with increasing fire severities. These changes in patterns suggest that the allocation strategies of elements between leaves and fine roots are of imbalance with the wildfire severity. This study deepens our understanding of nutrient dynamics between plant and soil in ecosystem succession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Plant Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • allocation strategy
  • carbon
  • leaves and fine roots
  • nitrogen and phosphorus
  • wildfire severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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