1 March 2017 Nutrient Uptake and Allocation by Plants in Recent Mounds Created by Subterranean Rodent, Plateau Zokor Eospalax baileyi
Ruixin Wu, Xiaoting Wei, Kesi Liu, Mengying Zhong, Yuehua Liu, Duo Pan, Xinqing Shao
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Abstract

To understand the nutrient absorption and adaptability of plant species that initially colonize mounds and the influences of the plateau zokor on the diversity of the plant community after 4 years' period, a series of experiments was conducted in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The contents of C and N and the flow of N in pioneer species were measured and tracked using the 15N isotope tracer method, and the species diversity on 4-year-old mounds was investigated. The results showed that (1) plateau zokors could influence the plant species on the mounds by creating gaps in the grassland; (2) Elymus nutans and Elsholtzia feddei, with high rates and efficiencies of nutrient absorption and transportation, were more competitive on the newly formed mounds than other species; (3) Elymus nutans played a dominant role in the plant community of the mounds; and (4) plateau zokors did not change the plant diversity after 4 years' period. These findings indicated that species colonizing the mounds experienced a process of competition when gaps were created by the rodents, that species with greater capabilities for resource acquisition and utilization had stronger competitiveness and vice versa, and that after a few years, the plant diversity on the mounds was almost similar to that of the undisturbed grassland.

Ruixin Wu, Xiaoting Wei, Kesi Liu, Mengying Zhong, Yuehua Liu, Duo Pan, and Xinqing Shao "Nutrient Uptake and Allocation by Plants in Recent Mounds Created by Subterranean Rodent, Plateau Zokor Eospalax baileyi," Polish Journal of Ecology 65(1), 132-143, (1 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.3161/15052249PJE2017.65.1.012
Published: 1 March 2017
KEYWORDS
fossorial disturbance
nutrient absorption
pioneer species
Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
resource availability
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