Elucidating the stoichiometry and resorption patterns of multiple nutrients is an essential requirement for a holistic understanding of plant nutrition and biogeochemical cycling. Liu et al. examine the relationships between resorption patterns of 13 nutrients and leaf nutrient status in eight plant functional types in the karst region of south-western China. They find that four nutrients (N, P, K and Mg) show resorption, seven (B, Ca, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo and Zn) accumulate in senesced leaves, and two (Na and S) show no resorption or accumulation.The resorption efficiencies of N, P and K and accumulation of Ca and Zn increase with decreasing concentrations of these nutrients in green leaves. The results emphasize the fact that nutrient resorption patterns strongly depend on the element and the plant functional type.