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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 35th IAHR Congress - Chengdu (2013) : THEME 9 - SPECIAL SEMINARS : Plant Community Structure and Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Status of Degraded Alpine Meadows
Plant Community Structure and Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Status of Degraded Alpine Meadows
Author : Youming Qiao, Xilai Li, Luitgard Schwendenmann, Gary Brierley and Zhonghua Duan
This study investigates the plant community structure and soil carbon and nutrient content in Kobresia meadows atop the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Three degrees of degradation of native alpine meadow and a seeded (ploughed) pasture which was established on a heavily degraded meadow were studied using standard plant ecological methods. Degradation was characterized by a shift in species composition from a Kobresia-dominated to a forb-dominated community. Live vegetation covers was reduced by 40% and vegetation height by 80% from a lightly degraded meadow to a heavily degraded meadow. The total aboveground phytomass in the three communities were similar (P>0.05), but aboveground phytomass of sedges, graminoides, and forbs was different among lightly, moderately and heavily degraded meadows (P<0.01). The Shannon?s diversity index, species evenness and species richness all decreased with increasing degradation (P<0.01). Significant positive correlations were found between meadow quality cover index and diversity indices. Organic carbon (C) and total nitrogen (N) concentrations in the topsoil (0-10 cm) of lightly degraded meadows were higher (P>0.05) compared to the other meadow types. At 10-20 cm, C and N concentration and soil C stocks in the seeded pasture were significantly lower than in the other meadow types. Total carbon stocks (0-30 cm) were lowest in the seeded pasture most likely as a result of ploughing. In light of these findings, ploughing is not a recommended treatment for meadow rehabilitation.
File Size : 548,380 bytes
File Type : Adobe Acrobat Document
Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 35th IAHR Congress - Chengdu (2013)
Date Published : 20/07/2016
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