NWIPB OpenIR
Mechanisms regulating spatial changes in grassland productivity following nutrient addition in northern China
Zhao, Na; Shao, Xinqing; Chen, Chao; Fan, Jiangwen; Wang, Kun
2019
Source PublicationRANGELAND JOURNAL
Volume41Issue:1
AbstractPlant biomass is the most fundamental component of ecosystems. The spatial stability of plant biomass is important, and the mechanisms regulating plant biomass spatial variability in variable environments are a central focus of ecology. However, they have rarely been explored. We conducted an experiment to test how diversity and functional traits affected variation in biomass and community response to nutrient availability in three plant communities: natural; forb, legume, and bunchgrass; and rhizomatous grass. We found that biomass stability rarely changed with increasing taxonomic species richness and functional group richness but declined with increasing Shannon-Weiner indices (the combination of richness and evenness) and functional trait diversity. However, differences in plant species composition generated different responses in both the amount and spatial variation of biomass following nutrient addition. Because rhizomatous grasses are weakly competitive in nutrient-poor conditions, interaction between resource-acquisitive (grass) and stress-tolerant (forb) species in the natural community conferred the greatest overall stability. The rapid nutrient acquisition ability of the rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis was stimulated in nutrient-abundant conditions. The functional traits of this dominant species overrode the diversity interaction effects of the natural and forb, legume, and bunchgrass communities. This ultimately resulted in the rhizomatous grass community being the most stable. Community stability was strongly determined by a few key species, particularly rhizomatous grasses, rather than by the average response of all species, thereby supporting the mass ratio hypothesis. Our results indicated that rhizomatous grasses could provide vegetative productivity to reduce soil loss and prevent degradation of L. chinensis-dominant grassland. Thus, protecting specific species is critical for maintaining rangeland ecosystem functions. Moreover, the conservation importance of grasses, non-leguminous forbs, legumes, or even rare species could not be ignored. Maintaining stability mechanisms in natural grasslands is complex, and therefore, further studies need to focus on finding a unified mechanism that can regulate appreciable biomass variation under shifting environmental conditions.
Keywordbiodiversity ecosystem functions fertiliser functional trait species composition
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://210.75.249.4/handle/363003/59899
Collection中国科学院西北高原生物研究所
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhao, Na,Shao, Xinqing,Chen, Chao,et al. Mechanisms regulating spatial changes in grassland productivity following nutrient addition in northern China[J]. RANGELAND JOURNAL,2019,41(1).
APA Zhao, Na,Shao, Xinqing,Chen, Chao,Fan, Jiangwen,&Wang, Kun.(2019).Mechanisms regulating spatial changes in grassland productivity following nutrient addition in northern China.RANGELAND JOURNAL,41(1).
MLA Zhao, Na,et al."Mechanisms regulating spatial changes in grassland productivity following nutrient addition in northern China".RANGELAND JOURNAL 41.1(2019).
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