Skip to main content

Effects of grazing and fencing on carbon and nitrogen reserves in plants and soils of alpine meadow in the three headwater resource regions

Abstract

Knowledge about carbon and nitrogen in plants and soils and response to fence and graze in alpine ecosystems is still rudimentary because of extremely geographic situation. The purpose of this study was to compare the difference among carbon, nitrogen concentration, and content of unit area and dynamics of above- and below-ground biomass, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen between fencing and grazing alpine meadow. The results showed that total carbon and C: N radio in the aboveground tissue were significantly higher in fenced and ungrazing grassland (FU) than those in free grazing grassland (FG). In addition, the order of total carbon and nitrogen concentration of aboveground tissue of different function groups were not identical between them; The total carbon storage (TCS) per unit of aboveground tissue, roots and 0–30 cm soil layer increased after being fenced for 5 years from free grazing grassland (9255.17 g/m2) to fenced and ungrazing grassland (12637.10 g/m2) by 26.79%. The corresponding total nitrogen storage (TNS) increased by 751.42 g/m2. Furthermore over 95% TCS (TNS) come from 0–30 cm soil layer. However there were no significant differences between fenced and ungrazing grasslands of 10 years and 5 years. Therefore fenced to exclude grazing by Tibetan sheep and yaks was an alternative approach to sequester C to the soil in alpine meadow systems.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bobkova, K.S. and Tuzhilkina, V.V., Carbon Concentration and Caloric Value of Organic Matter in Northern Forest Ecosystems, Russ. J. Ecol., 2001, vol. 32, pp. 69–71.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bobkova, K.S., Tuzhilkina, V.V., and Kuzin, S.N., Carbon Cycle in Spruce Ecosystems of the Northern Taiga Subzone, Russ. J. Ecol., 2006, vol. 37, pp. 23–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Canadell, J.G., Land Use Effects on Terrestrial Carbon Sources and Sinks, Sci. China, Ser. C, 2002, vol. 45(Suppl.), pp. 1–9.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cao, G.M., Tang, Y.H., Mo, W.H., Wang, Y.S., Li, Y.N., and Zhao, X.Q., Grazing Intensity Alters Soil Respiration in an Alpine Meadow on the Tibetan Plateau, Soil Biol. Biochem., 2004, vol. 36, pp. 237–243.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fan, J.W., Zhong, H.P., Liang, B., Shi, P.L., and Yu, G.R., Carbon Stock in Grassland Ecosystem and Its Affecting Factors, Grassland of China, 2003, vol. 25, pp. 51–58.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fakkowski, P., Scholes, R.J., and Boyle, E., The Global Carbon Cycle: A Test of Our Knowledge of Earth As a System, Science, 2000, vol. 290, pp. 219–295.

    Google Scholar 

  • Feng, Q., Cheng, G.D., and Mikami, M., The Carbon Cycle of Sandy Lands in China and Its Global Significance, Clim. Change, 2001, vol. 48, pp. 535–549.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guo, L.B. and Gifford, R.M., Soil Carbon Stocks and Land Use Change: A Meta Analysis, Global Change Biol., 2002, vol. 8, pp. 345–360.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grüunzweig, J.M., Sparrow, S., and Yakir, D., Impact of Agricultural Land-Use Change on Carbon Storage in Boreal Alaska, Global Change Biol., 2004, vol. 10, pp. 452–472.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kang, X.C., The characteristic of climate change in the last 40 years on Qinghai-Xinjiang Plateau, J. Glaciol. Geocryol., 1996, vol. 18, pp. 281–288.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krzic, M., Broersma, K., and Thompson, D.J., Soil Prop-erties and Species Diversity of Grazed Crested Wheatgrass and Native Rangelands, Range Manag., 2000, vol. 53, pp. 353–358.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lal, R., Soil Carbon Sequestration to Mitigate Climate Change, Geoderma, 2004, vol. 123, pp. 1–22.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Menyailo, O.V., The Effect of Afforestation on Mineralization of Soil Organic Matter, Russ. J. Ecol., 2008, vol. 39, pp. 23–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ni, J., Carbon Storage in Terrestrial Ecosystems of China: Estimates at Different Spatial Resolutions and Responses to Climate Change, Clim. Change, 2001, vol. 49, pp. 339–358.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ni, J., Carbon Storage in Grasslands of China, J. Arid Environ., 2002, vol. 50, pp. 205–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ni, J., Forage Yield-Based Carbon Storage in Grasslands of China, Clim. Change, 2004a, vol. 67, pp. 237–246.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ojima, D.S., Dirks, B.O.M., and Glenn, E.P., Assessment of C Budget for Grasslands and Drylands of the World, Water Air Soil Pollut., 1993a, vol. 70, pp. 95–109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ojima, D.S., Parton, W.J., and Schimel, D.S., Modeling the Effects of Climatic and CO2 Changes on Grassland Storage of Soil C, Water Air Soil Pollut., 1993b, vol. 70, pp. 643–657.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Qiao, Y.M., Wang, Z.H., and Duan, Z.H., Effects of Different Land-Uses Types on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Contents in the Northern Region of Qinghai Lake, Acta Pratacult. Sinica, 2009, vol. 18, pp. 105–112.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schlesinger, W.H., Evidence from Chronosequence Studies for Low Carbon Storage Potential of Soils, Nature, 1990, vol. 348, pp. 232–234.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Scurlock, J.M.O., Johnson, K., and Olson, R.J., Estimating Net Primary Productivity from Grassland Biomass Dynamics Measurements, Global Change Biol., 2002, vol. 8, pp. 736–753.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shvidenko, A.Z., Nilsson, S., Stolbovoi, V.S., Gluck, M., Schepashchenko, D.G., and Rozhkov, V.A., Aggregated Estimation of the Basic Parameter of Biological Production and Carbon Budget of Russian Terrestrial Ecosystems:1.Stocks of Plant Organic Mass, Russ. J. Ecol., 2000, vol. 31, pp. 403–410.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spitsina, N.T., Evaluating Forestry State of Birch Forests at the Eastern Area of KATEK, Geogr. Nat. Resources, 1990, pp. 145–150.

  • Wang, G.X. and Cheng, G.D., Characteristics of Grassland and Ecological Changes of Vegetations in the Source Regions of Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, J. Desert Res., 2001, vol. 21, pp. 101–107.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, G.X., Chen, G.D., and Shen, Y.P., Soil Orgnic Carbon of Grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau and Its Global Implication, J. Glaciol. Geocaryol., 2005, vol. 24, pp. 693–698.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, G.X., Qian, J., Cheng, G.D., and Lai, Y.M., Soil Organic Carbon Pool of Grassland soils on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Its Global Implication, Sci. Tot. Environ., 2002, vol. 291, pp. 207–217.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, Q.J., Li, S.X., Wang, W.Y., and Jing, Z.T., The Respondents of Carbon and Nitrogen Reserves in Plants and Soils to Vegetations Cover Change on Kobresia pygmaea Meadow of Yellow and Yangtze Rivers Source Region, Acta Ecol. Sinica, 2008, vol. 28, pp. 885–893.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wen, H.Y., Zhao, H.L., and Fu, H., Effects of Years for Reclamation and Enclosure Years on Soil Properties of Degraded Sandy Grassland, Acta Pratacult. Sinica, 2005, vol. 14, pp. 31–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zamolodchkov, D.G., Utkin, A.I., Korovin, G.N., and Chestnykh, O.V., Dynamics of Carbon Pools and Fluxes in Russia’s Forest Land, Russ. J. Ecol., 2006, vol. 36, pp. 323–333.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, Y.Q., Tang, Y.H., and Jiang, J., Characterizing the Dynamics of Soil Carbon in Grasslands on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Sci. China Ser. D: Earth Sci., 2007, vol. 50, pp. 113–120.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xiangyang Hou.

Additional information

The article is published in the original.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fan, Y., Hou, X., Shi, H. et al. Effects of grazing and fencing on carbon and nitrogen reserves in plants and soils of alpine meadow in the three headwater resource regions. Russ J Ecol 44, 80–88 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1067413612050165

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1134/S1067413612050165

Keywords

  • reserves of carbon and nitrogen
  • plants and soils
  • alpine meadow
  • three Headwater River source regions