, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 161–170 | Cite as

Net primary productivity and spatial distribution of vegetation in an alpine wetland, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

  • Mitsuru Hirota
  • Kiyokazu Kawada
  • Qiwu Hu
  • Tomomichi Kato
  • Yanhong Tang
  • Wenhong Mo
  • Guangmin Cao
  • Shigeru Mariko
ASIA/Oceania Report


To initially describe vegetation structure and spatial variation in plant biomass in a typical alpine wetland of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, net primary productivity and vegetation in relationship to environmental factors were investigated. In 2002, the wetland remained flooded to an average water depth of 25 cm during the growing season, from July to mid-September. We mapped the floodline and vegetation distribution using GPS (global positioning system). Coverage of vegetation in the wetland was 100%, and the vegetation was zonally distributed along a water depth gradient, with three emergent plant zones (Hippuris vulgaris-dominated zone, Scirpus distigmaticus-dominated zone, and Carex allivescers-dominated zone) and one submerged plant zone (Potamogeton pectinatus-dominated zone). Both aboveground and belowground biomass varied temporally within and among the vegetation zones. Further, net primary productivity (NPP) as estimated by peak biomass also differed among the vegetation zones; aboveground NPP was highest in the Carex-dominated zone with shallowest water and lowest in the Potamogeton zone with deepest water. The area occupied by each zone was 73.5% for P. pectinatus, 2.6% for H. vulgaris, 20.5% for S. distigmaticus, and 3.4% for C. allivescers. Morphological features in relationship to gas-transport efficiency of the aerial part differed among the emergent plants. Of the three emergent plants, H. vulgaris, which dominated in the deeper water, showed greater morphological adaptability to deep water than the other two emergent plants.

Key words

Alpine wetland Net primary productivity Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Water depth Zonal vegetation 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuru Hirota
    • 1
  • Kiyokazu Kawada
    • 2
  • Qiwu Hu
    • 3
  • Tomomichi Kato
    • 4
  • Yanhong Tang
    • 5
  • Wenhong Mo
    • 2
  • Guangmin Cao
    • 3
  • Shigeru Mariko
    • 6
  1. 1.Sugadaira Montane Research Center (SMRC) University of TsukubaNaganoJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Agro-Environmental SciencesIbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Northwest Plateau Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of ScienceXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Frontier Research Center for Global ChangeKanagawaJapan
  5. 5.National Institute for Environmental StudiesIbarakiJapan
  6. 6.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaIbarakiJapan

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