Nagqu Grassland Station

Nagqu, China

Nagqu Grassland Station

Nagqu, China

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Gao Q.-Z.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Gao Q.-Z.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | Li Y.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Li Y.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | And 4 more authors.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2014

Northern Tibet is the headstream region for the Yangtze, Salween River, Mekong River, and numerous other inflowing rivers and high mountain lakes. Sustaining the environmental conditions in the region is of vital importance for Tibet and the whole of China. The alpine grassland ecosystem in Northern Tibet is the most important ecosystem and extremely sensitive to climate change and human activity. In this study, we analyzed the characteristics of climate variability based on observed meteorological data and future climate scenarios, and reviewed the impact of climate variability and to explore adaptation strategies of alpine grassland in Northern Tibet. The result showed that the annual mean temperature has increased by 0.31 °C·10a-1 while the annual total precipitation has increased by 14.6 mm·10a-1 with high inter-annual and inter-seasonal fluctuations in Northern Tibet from 1961 to 2008. The rising trends of temperature and precipitation would be continued and the aridity indices showed a decreasing trend in the future, which potentially predicts that the climate in Northern Tibet becomes warmer and dryer. The climate variability results the melting of glaciers, the expansion of inland high mountain lakes and the negative impacts on alpine grassland in recent years. In order to adapt to such possible future climate changes, the alpine grassland water-saving irrigation was recommended as key adaptation measure and also rational grazing management, alpine grassland fencing and artificial grass planting were selected as adaptation measures, to lower the negative impacts of climate variability on the alpine grassland ecosystem in Northern Tibet. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Gao Q.-Z.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Gao Q.-Z.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | Wan Y.-F.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Wan Y.-F.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2010

Northern Tibet is the headstream region for the Yangtze, Nu (Salween River), and Lancang (Mekong River). Sustaining the environmental conditions in the region is vital for Tibet and, as the source of many rivers, the whole of China and much of Asia. The study combines remote sensing data with data from other sources and national standards of grassland degradation index to assess alpine grassland degradation index between 1981 and 2004 in Northern Tibet. A Geographical Information System (GIS) was used to examine trends in grassland degradation index and its response to climate variability, including precipitation, temperature, and solar radiation. The results show that degradation has been very serious. The areas with a significant grassland degradation index trend accounted for 23.3% of the total grasslands in Northern Tibet. During 1981-2004, precipitation variability has benefited the recovery and protection of the grasslands, while temperature and solar radiation variability exacerbated grassland degradation index in Northern Tibet. The impact of regional climate change on grassland degradation index was on the balance more detrimental than positive from 1981 to 2004. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Gao Q.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Gao Q.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | Duan M.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Duan M.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | And 7 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2010

Northern Tibet is the headstream region for the Yangtze, Nu (Salween River), Lancang (Mekong River), and their numerous tributaries and high mountain lakes. It is also a major livestock production centre in Tibet which is one of the nation's five key livestock raising provinces. However, Northern Tibet is situated in an extremely harsh natural environment and hosts vulnerable ecosystems which are at risk from global climate change. Alpine grassland is not only the most important and largest ecosystem in this area, but also a key resource for supporting local people's subsistence. In recent years, large areas of alpine grassland ecosystem of Northern Tibet have been severely degraded and threatened by soil erosion and desertification. Sustaining the environmental conditions of alpine grassland ecosystem in Northern Tibet is of vital importance for the Autonomous Region and the whole of China. Due to lack of comprehensive assessments, there is difficulty in identifying the spatial distribution of eco-environmental sensitivity and the priority regions of ecological and environmental construction in Northern Tibet. Therefore, major ecological problems and environmental sensitivities were analyzed and priority areas of ecological and environmental construction identified by assessing the spatial distribution of sensitivity to soil erosion, desertification and grassland degradation in Northern Tibet based on a comprehensive analysis of GIS data. The results showed that: the areas sensitive to soil erosion accounted for 42. 5% of the total land area and were mainly distributed in the eastern and central regions which comprise the economically relatively more developed and more densely populated areas of Northern Tibet, which seemed to indicate that soil erosion could deeply influence the economic development of Northern Tibet and also of Tibet as a whole. The areas sensitive to desertification, larger than those sensitive to soil erosion, occupied 78. 8% of the total land area and were mainly distributed in the northwest of Northern Tibet. Their occurrence increased progressively from southeast to northwest. Degraded grassland accounted for 50. 8% of the total grassland area. The degree of grassland degradation in the middle, eastern and northern regions of Northern Tibet was more serious, whereas the grassland degradation in the vast western region was relatively slight. The snow covered mountains and glaciers and the surrounding areas in Northern Tibet were more sensitive to changes is weather patterns, while the areas along the arterial traffic lines were more strongly impacted by human activities. The alpine grassland in these areas was rather severely degraded and susceptible to further degradation in the future. The areas most sensitive to soil erosion, desertification and grassland degradation are considered priority regions for future ecological and environmental construction in Northern Tibet.


Ganjurjav H.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Duan M.J.,Beijing Institute of Landscape Architecture | Guo Y.Q.,China Building Design Consultants CO. CBDC China Architecture design and Research Group CAG | Zhang W.N.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2015

Productivity and species diversity are important indicators of the service functions and basic factors of stability in grassland ecosystems. Precipitation is a main limiting factor of grassland productivity. There is a positive correlation between precipitation and productivity. Species diversity increases under precipitation enhancement; the water availability of the plant community has an important effect on community structure, composition, and species diversity. An increase in soil moisture content not only affects the grassland plant communities directly but also improves soil nutrient availability to promote plant growth. However, drought could lead to a series of negative effects on grassland ecosystems. Therefore, moisture is an important factor for productivity and species diversity, and it even affects the stability and sustainability of grassland ecosystems.Northern Tibet has low ecosystem stability, so external disturbances, such as climate change and human activities, easily result in variation in the pattern, process, and function of ecosystems. In recent years, Northern Tibet has experienced warming and increased precipitation. Increased precipitation will affect grassland productivity and species diversity, and will even influence animal husbandry. As a main measure of the adaptation strategy for climate change, irrigation could be a reasonable pathway to redistribute and make full use of increased precipitation.In this study, we conducted a growing season irrigation experiment in Northern Tibet (between 2008 and 2010) to simulate the precipitation enhancement in this area. We designed 4 irrigation gradients: CK (no irrigation), DS (low irrigation, plus 5% more than the ambient precipitation), ZS (moderate irrigation, plus 10% more than the ambient precipitation), and GS (high irrigation, plus 15% more than the ambient precipitation). We measured plant biomass, community composition, and species diversity under different amounts of irrigation. The results showed that irrigation had greater effects on alpine grassland productivity and species diversity in drought years than in wet years. Under the irrigation conditions, the grassland biomass increased significantly, and the highest increase was up to 116% in a high irrigation plot. Irrigation promoted the species importance values of alpine grasslands; in particular, the proportion of shrubs and broad-leaved forbs was increased. The proportion of dominant species decreased significantly under irrigation conditions, and the decrease was the highest in the high irrigation plot. The Simpson index and Shannon-Wiener index significantly increased under different amounts of irrigation (P < 0.05). The E. Pielou evenness index was not significantly influenced by irrigation (P > 0.05). There was a positive correlation between biomass and the Shannon-Wiener index (P < 0.05). In short, we can project that grassland biomass and species diversity will increase under future precipitation enhancement; this will reduce the negative impact of drought in alpine grasslands and promote the sustainable development of animal husbandry in alpine grasslands. © 2005, Ecological Society of China. All rights reserved.


Gao Q.Z.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Gao Q.Z.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | Wan Y.F.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Wan Y.F.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | And 6 more authors.
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2010

The trend in condition of alpine grasslands from 1981 to 2004 in different topographic regions and with different intensities of human activity in Northern Tibet was analysed by using remote sensing data and geographic information system techniques. The results of this study showed that the condition of the alpine grasslands in 2004 varied throughout Northern Tibet. The changes in condition over this period of most of the alpine grasslands (76.7%) were without any significant trend, whereas a larger portion of the remaining area showed significant recovery then underwent significant degradation. Where significant degradation did occur it was mostly on the steeper slopes whereas significant recovery was mostly on the flatter areas (1 slope). As a result of strong solar radiation, high temperature, drying effects and more grazing activities, alpine grasslands on the sunny slopes had a greater potential for degradation. The special geographic location of Northern Tibet (with an average elevation of 4500m.a.s.l.) means that alpine grasslands are mostly confined to an elevation ranging from 4500 to 5500m, where both human and grazing activities were mostly migratory from 1981 to 2004. As a result, by far the majority of the alpine grasslands (90.4%) had either no significant degradation or some or significant recovery between 1981 and 2004. A greater proportion of alpine grasslands at high elevations (above 5000m) had a significant trend of degradation than at lower elevations. The negative impact of residential areas on alpine grassland condition was smaller than that of roads. © Australian Rangeland Society 2010.


Zhang W.N.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zhang W.N.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | Ganjurjav H.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Ganjurjav H.,Key Laboratory for Agro Environment and Climate Change | And 10 more authors.
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2015

Banning of grazing is a widely used means of restoring degraded rangeland in China. However, little is known about the time required to restore degraded alpine meadows through the use of a grazing ban. Height and cover of individual plant species and total cover, herbage mass and root mass of each plot of a grazing ban and communal free-grazing alpine meadows in Northern Tibet were examined. Soil samples were also collected and total organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, total phosphorus and ammonium nitrogen contents were measured. The results showed that both the level of plant species diversity and herbage mass were higher in areas of a grazing ban than in communal free-grazing land without a grazing ban. No significant differences in root mass and soil nutrient contents were observed. There was a higher plant species diversity and herbage mass in the early years of a grazing ban but there was a subsequent decline. It is suggested that some grazing after a grazing ban may be necessary according to the dynamics of ecosystem responses with time. © Australian Rangeland Society 2015.


PubMed | Beijing Normal University, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nagqu Grassland Station and University of California at Davis
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Since 2000, the phenology has advanced in some years and at some locations on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, whereas it has been delayed in others. To understand the variations in spring vegetation growth in response to climate, we conducted both regional and experimental studies on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We used the normalized difference vegetation index to identify correlations between climate and phenological greening, and found that greening correlated negatively with winter-spring time precipitation, but not with temperature. We used open top chambers to induce warming in an alpine meadow ecosystem from 2012 to 2014. Our results showed that in the early growing season, plant growth (represented by the net ecosystem CO2 exchange, NEE) was lower in the warmed plots than in the control plots. Late-season plant growth increased with warming relative to that under control conditions. These data suggest that the response of plant growth to warming is complex and non-intuitive in this system. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that moisture limitation increases in early spring as temperature increases. The effects of moisture limitation on plant growth with increasing temperatures will have important ramifications for grazers in this system.

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