Science in China Series C: Life Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 263–270 | Cite as

Above- and belowground biomass in relation to environmental factors in temperate grasslands, Inner Mongolia

  • Ma WenHong 
  • Yang YuanHe 
  • He JinSheng 
  • Zeng Hui 
  • Fang JingYun 


Above- and belowground biomasses of grasslands are important parameters for characterizing regional and global carbon cycles in grassland ecosystems. Compared with the relatively detailed information for aboveground biomass (AGB), belowground biomass (BGB) is poorly reported at the regional scales. The present study, based on a total of 113 sampling sites in temperate grassland of the Inner Mongolia, investigated regional distribution patterns of AGB, BGB, vertical distribution of roots, and their relationships with environmental factors. AGB and BGB increased from the southwest to the northeast of the study region. The largest biomass occurred in meadow steppe, with mean AGB and BGB of 196.7 and 1385.2 g/m2, respectively; while the lowest biomass occurred in desert steppe, with an AGB of 56.6 g/m2 and a BGB of 301.0 g/m2. In addition, about 47% of root biomass was distributed in the top 10 cm soil. Further statistical analysis indicated that precipitation was the primary determinant factor in shaping these distribution patterns. Vertical distribution of roots was significantly affected by precipitation, while the effects of soil texture and grassland types were weak.


temperate grasslands aboveground biomass (AGB) belowground biomass (BGB) spatial pattern vertical distribution precipitation 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ma WenHong 
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang YuanHe 
    • 1
  • He JinSheng 
    • 1
  • Zeng Hui 
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fang JingYun 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Environment & Urban StudyPeking University Shenzhen Graduate SchoolShenzhenChina

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