Advertisement

Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 833–844 | Cite as

A study of soil-dynamics based on a simulated drought in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau

  • Zhi-yuan Wang
  • Geng Sun
  • Peng Luo
  • Cheng-xiang Mou
  • Jun Wang
Article

Abstract

Extreme weather events have played an important role in driving the ecosystem dynamics in high altitude areas, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. To understand if and how the soil processes of an ecosystem react to extreme drought, we manipulated a once-in-a-century meteorological extreme drought in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau, which is also known as the “forerunner of global weather changes”. The extremity was determined by statistical extreme weather events with respect to a historical reference period from April to September during 1962–2004, where the local historical precipitation data was calculated and intensified to 100-year recurrent drought event with Gumbel I distribution. The indicators we measured included soil microbial biomass C/N/P and soil enzymatic activities of phosphatase (AP) disbounding organic phosphate, cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-glucocidase (BG), N-releasing enzyme N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) as well as soil respirations, during and after the treatments. It was found that the manipulated event induced a rapid shift in microbial biomass and activities, indicating a lower resistance of the underground process. However, the microbial and biochemical parameters saw rapid recovery after the event, which meant the soil processes enjoyed high resilience. The high responsiveness and lag-time effects of the soil indicators rendered new horizons for us to evaluate the interaction between the extremes and the ecosystem stability. Our study indicated that the once-in-a-century extreme drought induced very short term response in the soil biotic process, and the soil processes worked to buffer against such events under the observation period.

Keywords

Extreme weather event Soil enzyme Microbial biomass Nutrient availability 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aanderud ZT, Richards JH, Svejcar T, et al. (2010) A shift in seasonal rainfall reduces soil organic carbon storage in a cold desert. Ecosystems 13(5): 673–682. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-010-9346-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beier C, Beierkuhnlein C, Wohlgemuth T, et al. (2012) Precipitation manipulation experiments - challenges and recommendations for the future. Ecology Letter 15(8): 899–911. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01793.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borken W, Matzner E (2009) Reappraisal of drying and wetting effects on C and N mineralization and fluxes in soils. Global Change Biology 15(4): 808–824. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01681.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bray RH, Kurtz LT (1945) Determination of total, organic, and available forms of phosphorus in soils. Soil Science 59(1): 39–45. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-194501000-00006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Breda N, Huc R, Granier A, et al. (2006) Temperate forest trees and stands under severe drought: a review of ecophysiological responses, adaptation processes and long-term consequences. Annals of Forest Science 63(6): 625–644. DOI: 10.1051/forest:2006042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brookes PC, Landman A, Pruden, et al. (1985) Chloroform fumigation and the release of soil-nitrogen - a rapid direct extraction method to measure microbial biomass nitrogen in soil. Soil Biolology and Biochemistry 17(6): 837–842. DOI: 10.1016/0038-0717(85)90144-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carpenter SR, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Program), Scenarios Working Group (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: scenarios, volume 2: findings of the Scenarios Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  8. Chinese Soil Taxonomy Research Group (1995) Chinese Soil Taxonomy. Science Press, Beijing. pp. 58–147 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  9. D’Angelo E, Crutchfield J, Vandiviere M (2001) Rapid, sensitive, microscale determination of phosphate in water and soil. Journal of Environment Quality 30(6): 2206–2209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Boeck HJ, Dreesen FE, Janssens IA, et al. (2011) Wholesystem responses of experimental plant communities to climate extremes imposed in different seasons. New Phytologist, 189(3): 806–817. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03515.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Devi NB, Yadava PS (2006) Seasonal dynamics in soil microbial biomass C, N and P in a mixed-oak forest ecosystem of Manipur, North-east India. Applied Soil Ecology 31(3): 220–227. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2005.05.005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doane TA, Horwath WR (2003) Spectrophotometric determination of nitrate with a single reagent. Analytical Letters 36(12): 2713–2722. DOI: 10.1081/AL-120024647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duniway MC, Herrick JE, Monger HC (2010) Spatial and temporal variability of plant-available water in calcium carbonate-cemented soils and consequences for arid ecosystem resilience. Oecologia 163(1): 215–226. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-009-1530-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Easterling DR, Meehl GA, Parmesan C, et al. (2000) Climate extremes: Observations, modeling, and impacts. Science 289(5487): 2068–2074. DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fang KY, Gou XH, Chen FH, et al. (2010) Reconstructed droughts for the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau over the past 568 years and its linkages to the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean climate variability. Climate Dynamics 35(4): 577–585. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-009-0636-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Godfree R, Lepschi B, Reside A, et al. (2011) Multiscale topoedaphic heterogeneity increases resilience and resistance of a dominant grassland species to extreme drought and climate change. Global Change Biology 17(2): 943–958. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02292.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Griffiths BS, Bonkowski M, Roy J, et al. (2001) Functional stability, substrate utilization and biological indicators of soils following environmental impacts. Applied Soil Ecology 16(1): 49–61. DOI: 10.1016/S0929-1393(00)00081-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Griffiths BS, Ritz K, Bardgett RD, et al.(2000) Ecosystem response of pasture soil communities to fumigation-induced microbial diversity reductions: an examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship. Oikos 90(2): 279–294. DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.900208.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gumbel EJ (1958) Statistics of extremes. Columbia University Press, New York. pp 340–375.Google Scholar
  20. Harper CW, Blair JM, Fay PA, et al. (2005) Increased rainfall variability and reduced rainfall amount decreases soil CO2 flux in a grassland ecosystem. Global Change Biology 11(2): 322–334. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.00899.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hueso S, Hernandez T, Garcia C (2011) Resistance and resilience of the soil microbial biomass to severe drought in semiarid soils: The importance of organic amendments. Appllied Soil Ecology 50: 27–36. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2011.07.014Google Scholar
  22. International Society of Soil Science, International Soil Reference and Information Centre and Food, Organization of the United Nations (1998) World reference base for soil resources, food and agriculture organizaiton of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  23. Jensen KD, Beier C, Michelsen A, et al. (2003) Effects of experimental drought on microbial processes in two temperate heathlands at contrasting water conditions. Applied Soil Ecology, 24(2): 165–176. DOI: 10.1016/S0929-1393(03)00091-XCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jentsch A, Kreyling J, Elmer M, et al. (2011) Climate extremes initiate ecosystem-regulating functions while maintaining productivity. Journal of Ecology 99(3): 689–702. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2011.01817.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jiang ZH, Song J, Li L, et al. (2012) Extreme climate events in China: IPCC-AR4 model evaluation and projection. Climatic Change 110(1–2): 385–401. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0090-0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jimenez MA, Jaksic FM, Armesto JJ, et al. (2011) Extreme climatic events change the dynamics and invasibility of semiarid annual plant communities. Ecology Letters 14(12): 1227–1235. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01693.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Joos O, Hagedorn F, Heim A, et al. (2010) Summer drought reduces total and litter-derived soil CO2 effluxes in temperate grassland - clues from a C-13 litter addition experiment. Biogeosciences 7(3): 1031–1041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Körner C (2003) Alpine plant life: functional plant ecology of high mountain ecosystems. Springer Press, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kahmen A, Perner J, Buchmann N (2005) Diversity-dependent productivity in semi-natural grasslands following climate perturbations. Functional Ecology 19(4): 594–601. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2005.01001.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kato T, Tang YH, Gu S, et al. (2006) Temperature and biomass influences on interannual changes in CO2 exchange in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau. Global Change Biology 12(7): 1285–1298. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01153.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kirschbaum MUF (1995) The tempreature-dependence of soil organic-matter decomposition, and the effect of global warning on soil organic-c storage. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 27(6): 753–760. DOI: 10.1016/0038-0717(94)00242-SCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lewis SL, Malhi Y, Phillips OL (2004) Fingerprinting the impacts of global change on tropical forests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 359(1443): 437–462. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2003.1432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lipson DA, Schmidt SK, Monson RK (1999) Links between microbial population dynamics and nitrogen availability in an alpine ecosystem. Ecology 80(5): 1623–1631. DOI: 10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1623:LBMPDA]2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu XH, Shao XM, Wang LL, et al. (2008) Response and dendroclimatic implications of delta(13)C in tree rings to increasing drought on the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Journal of geophysical research-biogeosciences 113(G3). DOI: 10.1029/2007JG000610Google Scholar
  35. Mcnaughton SJ (1993) Biodiversity and function of grazing ecosystems. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function, 99: 361–383.Google Scholar
  36. Panikov NS (1999) Understanding and prediction of soil microbial community dynamics under global change. Appllied Soil Ecology 11(2–3): 161–176. DOI: 10.1016/S0929-1393(98)00143-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Penuelas J, Prieto P, Beier C, et al. (2007) Response of plant species richness and primary productivity in shrublands along a north-south gradient in Europe to seven years of experimental warming and drought: reductions in primary productivity in the heat and drought year of 2003. Global Change Biology 13(12): 2563–2581. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01464.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Petrone RM, Price JS, Carey SK, et al. (2004) Statistical characterization of the spatial variability of soil moisture in a cutover peatland. Hydrological Processes 18(1): 41–52. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.1309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rey A, Pegoraro E, Tedeschi V, et al. (2002) Annual variation in soil respiration and its components in a coppice oak forest in Central Italy. Global Change Biology 8(9): 851–866. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2486.2002.00521.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rhine ED, Sims GK, Mulvaney RL, et al. (1998) Improving the Berthelot reaction for determining ammonium in soil extracts and water. Soil Science Society of America Journal 62(2): 473–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rich PM, Breshears DD, White AB (2008) Phenology of mixed woody-herbaceous ecosystems following extreme events: Net and differential responses. Ecology 89(2): 342–352. DOI: 10.1890/06-2137.1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scheffer M, Carpenter S, Foley JA, et al. (2001) Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems. Nature 413(6856): 591–596. DOI: 10.1038/35098000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schmitt A, Glaser B (2011) Organic matter dynamics in a temperate forest soil following enhanced drying. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 43(3): 478–489. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.09.037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sinsabaugh RL, Antibus RK, Linkins AE (1993) Wood decomposition-nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in relation to extracellular enzyme-activity. Ecology 74(5): 1586–1593. DOI: 10.2307/1940086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sowerby A, Emmett B, Beier C, et al. (2005) Microbial community changes in heathland soil communities along a geographical gradient: interaction with climate change manipulations. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 37(10): 1805–1813. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2005.02.023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tobor-Kaplon MA, Bloem J, Romkens P, et al. (2005) Functional stability of microbial communities in contaminated soils. Oikos 111(1): 119–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. van Meeteren MM, Tietema A, van Loon EE, et al. (2008) Microbial dynamics and litter decomposition under a changed climate in a Dutch heathland. Applied Soil Ecology 38(2): 119–127. DOI: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13512.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vance ED, Brookes PC, Jenkinson DS (1987) An extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass-C. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 19(6): 703–707. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2007.09.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. White PS, Jentsch A (2001) The search for generality in studies of disturbance and ecosystem dynamics. Progress in Botany 62: 399–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yuste JC, Penuelas J, Estiarte M, et al. (2011) Drought-resistant fungi control soil organic matter decomposition and its response to temperature. Global Change Biology 17(3): 1475–1486. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02300.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zhao L, Li Y, Xu S, et al. (2006) Diurnal, seasonal and annual variation in net ecosystem CO2 exchange of an alpine shrubland on the Tibetan Plateau. Global Change Biology 12(10): 1940–1953. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01197.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zhou XH, Talley M, Luo YQ (2009) Biomass, litter, and soil respiration along a precipitation gradient in southern great plains, USA. Ecosystems 12(8): 1369–1380. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01197.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ecological Studies, Chengdu Institute of BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations