Climatic Change

, Volume 82, Issue 3–4, pp 437–452 | Cite as

Modeling responses of the meadow steppe dominated by Leymus chinensis to climate change

  • Yuhui Wang
  • Guangsheng ZhouEmail author
  • Yonghe Wang
Original Article


Grassland is one of the most widespread vegetation types worldwide and plays a significant role in regional climate and global carbon cycling. Understanding the sensitivity of Chinese grassland ecosystems to climate change and elevated atmospheric CO2 and the effect of these changes on the grassland ecosystems is a key issue in global carbon cycling. China encompasses vast grassland areas of 354 million ha of 17 major grassland types, according to a national grassland survey. In this study, a process-based terrestrial model the CENTURY model was used to simulate potential changes in net primary productivity (NPP) and soil organic carbon (SOC) of the Leymus chinensis meadow steppe (LCMS) under different scenarios of climatic change and elevated atmospheric CO2. The LCMS sensitivities, its potential responses to climate change, and the change in capacity of carbon stock and sequestration in the future are evaluated. The results showed that the LCMS NPP and SOC are sensitive to climatic change and elevated CO2. In the next 100 years, with doubled CO2 concentration, if temperature increases from 2.7-3.9˚C and precipitation increases by 10% NPP and SOC will increase by 7-21% and 5-6% respectively. However, if temperature increases by 7.5-7.8˚C and precipitation increases by only 10% NPP and SOC would decrease by 24% and 8% respectively. Therefore, changes in the NPP and SOC of the meadow steppe are attributed mainly to the amount of temperature and precipitation change and the atmospheric CO2 concentration in the future.


Soil Organic Carbon Carbon Stock Climate Change Scenario Grassland Ecosystem Temperate Grassland 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of BotanyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Atmospheric EnvironmentChina Meteorological AdministrationShenyangChina
  3. 3.Canadian Forest ServiceNorthern Forestry CentreEdmontonCanada

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