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Affected by the pressure and constraints of available resources, plant growth and development, as well as plant life history strategies, usually vary with environmental conditions. Plant buds play a crucial role in the life history of woody plants. Nitraria tangutorum is a common dominant woody species in desertified areas of northern China and its growth is critical to the desert ecosystem. Revealing the allometry of N. tangutorum aboveground bud fates and the linkage between bud traits and plant nutrient contents and stoichiometric ratios can be useful in understanding plant adaptation strategy. We applied seven nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer addition treatments to natural N. tangutorum ramets in Ulan Buh Desert in three consecutive years. We surveyed three types of aboveground buds (dormant buds, vegetative buds, and reproductive buds) in each N. tangutorum ramet, then measured the plant carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) contents and ratios during three consecutive years. We specified that reserve growth potential (RGP), vegetative growth intensity (VGI) and sexual reproduction effort (SRE) are the three indices of bud dynamic pattern. The results showed that the bud dynamic pattern of N. tangutorum ramets differed significantly among different fertilizer addition treatments and sampling years. The allometry of RGP, VGI, and SRE was obvious, showing size dependence. The allometric growth relationship fluctuated among the sampling years. The linkage between bud traits and plant stoichiometric characteristics of N. tangutorum ramets showed close correlation with plant P content, C:P and N:P ratios, no significant correlation with plant C content, N content and C:N ratio. These results contribute to an improved understanding of the adaptive strategies of woody plants growing in desert ecosystems and provide insights for adoption of effective measures to restore and conserve plant communities in arid and semi-arid regions.
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Li Q, Duan N, Liu C, Li H, Xu L. 2023. Allometry of bud dynamic pattern and linkage between bud traits and ecological stoichiometry of Nitraria tangutorum under fertilizer addition. PeerJ 11:e14934 http://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.14934