3 years ago

Precipitation-mediated responses of soil acid buffering capacity to long-term nitrogen addition in a semi-arid grassland

Precipitation-mediated responses of soil acid buffering capacity to long-term nitrogen addition in a semi-arid grassland
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition can result in soil acidification and reduce soil acid buffering capacity. However, it remains poorly understood how changes in precipitation regimes with elevated atmospheric N deposition affect soil acidification processes in a water-limited grassland. Here, we conducted a 9-year split-plot experiment with water addition as the main factor and N addition as the second factor. Results showed that soil acid buffering capacity significantly decreased with increased N inputs, mainly due to the decline of soil effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) and exchangeable basic cations (especially Ca2+), indicating an acceleration of soil acidification status in this steppes. Significant interactive N and water effects were detected on the soil acid buffering capacity. Water addition enhanced the soil ECEC and exchangeable base cations and thus alleviated the decrease of soil acid buffering capacity under N addition. Our findings suggested that precipitation can mitigate the impact of increased N deposition on soil acidification in semi-arid grasslands. This knowledge should be used to improve models predicting soil acidification processes in terrestrial ecosystems under changing environmental conditions.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1352231017306532

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