Background and aims: There is ample experimental evidence for shifts in plant community composition under climate warming. To date, however, the underlying mechanisms driving these compositional shifts remain poorly understood. Methods: The amount and form of nitrogen (N) available to plants are among the primary factors limiting productivity and plant coexistence in terrestrial ecosystems. We conducted a short-term 15N tracer experiment in a ten-year warming and grazing experiment in an alpine grassland to investigate the effects of warming and grazing on plant uptake of NO3 −-N, NH4 +-N, and glycine-N. Four dominant plant species (Kobresia humilis, Potentilla anseria, Elymus nutans, Poa annua) were selected. Results We found that 10-years of warming decreased plant uptake of inorganic N by up to 80% in all species. In contrast, warming increased the uptake of organic N in K. humilis, P. anseria, and E. nutans but not in P. annua. Results showed that plant relative biomass increased hyperbolically with the ratio of the plant species total uptake of available N and plant community uptake of available N. And a significant positive correlation between plant species uptake of soil glycine-N and the uptake of total available N. Conclusions: The stable relative biomass of plant species is largely dependent on organic N uptake by plants. We conclude that plant organic N uptake maintains species dominance under long-term warming.