Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 755–761 | Cite as

Higher species diversity occurs in more fertile habitats without fertilizer disturbance in an alpine natural grassland community

  • Dong Wang
  • Gao-Lin WuEmail author
  • Xiao-Feng Chang
  • Zhi-Hua Shi
  • Lei Sun
  • Xue-Hong Wei


Are there some relationships among species diversity and soil chemical properties of high altitude natural grasslands? Plant community composition and chemical properties of soil samples were compared to investigate the relationship between soil and species diversity, and the richness in Tibetan alpine grasslands. Results showed that species diversity was significantly positively related to soil organic matter (SOM), total nitrogen (TN), available nitrogen (AN), total phosphorus (TP), available phosphorus (AP), and available potassium (AK) in the high alpine grasslands. Margalef’s species richness index was also significantly positively related to SOM, TN, AN, and TP. Most soil chemical properties showed significantly positive correlation with species diversity and Margalef’s richness index. Our results suggested that higher plant species richness index and diversity occurred in more fertile soil habitats in high altitude natural grassland community. In practice, fertilization management for the restoration of degraded grassland should be conducted with reference to the nutrient levels of natural grassland without the additional artificial fertilizer and with higher species-diversity and richness index.


Species richness Soil properties Species diversity Biomass 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong Wang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Gao-Lin Wu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xiao-Feng Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhi-Hua Shi
    • 1
  • Lei Sun
    • 3
  • Xue-Hong Wei
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water ConservationChinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water ResourcesYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Water ConservationNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Plant Sci-Tech of Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry CollegeLinzhiChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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