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Data from: Direct effects of nitrogen addition on seed germination of eight semi-arid grassland species

Citation

Wang, Dong et al. (2021), Data from: Direct effects of nitrogen addition on seed germination of eight semi-arid grassland species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.w3r2280nd

Abstract

Seed germination plays an important role in mediating plant species composition of grassland communities under nitrogen (N) enrichment. Shifts of plant community structure with N-enhanced deposition in terrestrial ecosystems have occurred globally. Despite numerous studies about the effects of enhanced N deposition on mature plant communities, few studies have focused on seed germination. Using a laboratory experiment, we report the effects of five N concentrations, including 0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mM N (NH4NO3) on seed germination of eight semi-arid grassland species. Results showed that low N concentrations (5- and 20-mM N) promoted mean final germination proportion of all eight species by 4.4% and 6.4%, but high concentrations (40 mM N) had no effect. The mean germination rate was decreased 2.1% and 5.1% by higher N concentration (20- and 40-mM N) levels, but germination start time showed the opposite trend, delayed by 0.7, 0.9, and 1.8 d for the 10, 20, and 40 Mm N treatments. Final germination proportion, mean germination rate, and germination start time were significantly different among species in response to N concentration treatments. The final germination proportion of Allium tenuissimum and Chenopodium glaucum were suppressed by increased N concentration, whereas it increased for Potentilla bifurca, Plantago asiatica and Setaria viridis. Our findings provide novel insights into N-deposition-induced species loss based on seed germination factors in semi-arid grassland communities.

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