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Wang X.-Q.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Yin S.-L.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Yang Z.-W.,Qinghai Forestry Research Institute | Lu Q.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | And 2 more authors.
Forest Research | Year: 2015

There exist three most representative plant communities within the Tala Shoal in Gonghe Basin, including Stipa breviflora and Orinus kokonorica grassland, Achnatherum splendens grassland, and Caragana tibetica shrubland. Field data of plant and soil investigation from 19 samples plots in 95 quadrats (1 m×1 m) was used to explore the community composition, soil texture and nutrient status of the three communities. Up to 32 plant species in total were found in the sample plot, with 11, 22 and 21 plant species in C. tibetica shrubland, A. splendens and S. breviflora grasslands respectively. The plant biomass and coverage was higher in the A. splendens grassland than in the O. kokonorica grassland, and the C. tibetica shrubland had the lowest plant biomass and coverage among the three communities, with O. kokonorica the dominant plants. The soil content to 20 cm in different particle-size separates was dominated by the fine sand. The soil nutrient concentrations of P, K, and N were higher in the C. tibetica than in the other two communities as the result of accumulation phenomenon, while the soil EC in the A. splendens grassland was 0.26 ms·cm-1 with poor nutrient and weak salinization. Plant communities and their soil adaptation may offer guideline for the rehabilitation of degradation grassland. ©, 2015, Chinese Academy of Forestry. All right reserved. Source


Yu Y.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Yu Y.,CAS Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences | Jia Z.Q.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Jia Z.Q.,Qinghai Gonghe Desert Ecosystem Research Station
Solid Earth | Year: 2014

The Gonghe Basin is a sandified and desertified region of China, but the distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) along the cultivation chronosequence across this ecologically fragile region is not well understood. This study was carried out to understand the effects of restoration with Salix cheilophila for different periods of time (6, 11, 16, 21 years) to test whether it enhanced C and N storage. Soil samples, in four replications from seven depth increments (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-50, 50-100, 100-150 and 150-200 cm), were collected in each stand. Soil bulk density, SOC, TN, aboveground biomass and root biomass were measured. Results indicated that changes occurred in both the upper and deeper soil layers with an increase in revegetation time. The 0-200 cm soil showed that the 6-year stand gained 3.89 Mg C ha-1 and 1.00 Mg N ha-1, which accounted for 40.82% of the original SOC and 11.06% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 11-year stand gained 7.82 Mg C ha-1 and 1.98 Mg N ha-1 in the 0-200 cm soil layers, accounting for 58.06% of the SOC and 19.80% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 16-year stand gained 11.32 Mg C ha-1 and 3.30 Mg N ha-1 in the 0-200 cm soil layers, accounting for 66.71% of the SOC and 21.98% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 21-year stand gained 13.05 Mg C ha-1 and 5.45 Mg N ha-1 from the same soil depth, accounting for 69.79% of the SOC and 40.47% of the TN compared with the 0-year stand. The extent of these changes depended on soil depth and plantation age. The results demonstrated that, as stand age increased, the storage of SOC and TN increased. These results further indicated that restoration with S. cheilophila has positive impacts on the Gonghe Basin and has increased the capacity of SOC sequestration and N storage. The shrub's role as carbon sink is compatible with system management and persistence. The findings are significant for assessing C and N sequestration accurately in semi-arid degraded high, cold sandy regions in the future. © Author(s) 2014. Source


Jia Z.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Jia Z.,Qinghai Gonghe Desert Ecosystem Research Station | Zhu Y.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Zhu Y.,Qinghai Gonghe Desert Ecosystem Research Station | Liu L.,Chinese Academy of Forestry
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: In a semi-arid ecosystem, water is one of the most important factors that affect vegetation dynamics, such as shrub plantation. A water use strategy, including the main water source that a plant species utilizes and water use efficiency (WUE), plays an important role in plant survival and growth. The water use strategy of a shrub is one of the key factors in the evaluation of stability and sustainability of a plantation. Methodology/Principal Findings: Caragana intermedia is a dominant shrub of sand-binding plantations on sand dunes in the Gonghe Basin in northeastern Tibet Plateau. Understanding the water use strategy of a shrub plantation can be used to evaluate its sustainability and long-term stability. We hypothesized that C. intermedia uses mainly deep soil water and its WUE increases with plantation age. Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen were used to determine the main water source and leaf carbon isotope discrimination was used to estimate long-term WUE. The root system was investigated to determine the depth of the main distribution. The results showed that a 5-year-old C. intermedia plantation used soil water mainly at a depth of 0-30 cm, which was coincident with the distribution of its fine roots. However, 9- or 25-year-old C. intermedia plantations used mainly 0-50 cm soil depth water and the fine root system was distributed primarily at soil depths of 0-50 cm and 0-60 cm, respectively. These sources of soil water are recharged directly by rainfall. Moreover, the long-term WUE of adult plantations was greater than that of juvenile plantations. Conclusions: The C. intermedia plantation can change its water use strategy over time as an adaptation to a semi-arid environment, including increasing the depth of soil water used for root growth, and increasing long-term WUE. © 2012 Jia et al. Source


Li Q.-X.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Zhu Y.-J.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Zhu Y.-J.,Qinghai Gonghe Desert Ecosystem Research Station | Jia Z.-Q.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | And 3 more authors.
Forest Research | Year: 2014

This study was to determine how the soil nutrients and plant community were affected by slopes of sand dunes 12 years after Caragana intermedia plantation was established on the alpine sandy land of Gonghe Basin on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The moving sand dune in the vicinity of experiment site was chosen as a control. The soil samples were collected for four replicates from five depths (0~5, 5~10, 10~20, 20~30 cm and 30~50 cm) on windward slopes, tops of slopes and leeward slopes. The results showed that the soil organic matter content at 0~20 cm, total nitrogen and total phosphorus content at 0~50 cm for all sand dunes slopes of C. intermediaplantation were significantly higher than that of the moving sand dune. The soil organic matter and total nitrogen contents at 0~5 cm and total phosphorus content at 0~20 cm for windward slopes were significantly higher than that at the top of slopes and leeward slopes. The establishment of C. intermedia plantation on sand dunes facilitated the colonization and development of herbaceous species. The coverage and species of herbaceous increased, especially for windward slopes. Source


Liu H.-T.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Liu H.-T.,Qinghai Gonghe Desert Ecosystem Research Station | Jia Z.-Q.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | Jia Z.-Q.,Qinghai Gonghe Desert Ecosystem Research Station | And 6 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2012

Taking 4-, 11-, 25-, and 37-year old Salix cheilophila stands on the alpine sandy land of Gonghe basin in Qinghai of West China as test objects, a laboratory test was conducted on their relative water deficit, water holding ability, specific leaf area (SLA), leaf mass-based nitrogen concentration (Nmass) and phosphorous concentration (Pmass), and Nmass/Pmass, aimed to understand the variation patterns of the water physiological characteristics and leaf traits of different aged S. cheilophila on alpine sandy land. No significant difference was observed in the relative water deficit of the four stands. The daily mean value of water potential of the 37-year old stand was significantly lower, as compared with that of the other three stands, and the 4- and 11-year old stands had a significantly lower daily mean water potential than the 25-year old stand. The water loss rate of the 4-year old stand was significantly lower than that of the other three stands, and the 25-year old S. cheilophila stand had a significantly lower water loss rate than the 11-year old stand. The 4-year old stand also had a significantly lower SLA than the other three stands, implying its higher water use efficiency. The Nmass of the 11-year old stand was significantly higher than that of the other three stands, and the 25-year old stand had a significantly higher Nmass than the 37-year old stand, impl- ying that the 11-and 25-year old stands had a higher photosynthetic capacity. The Pmass of the 11-year old stand was significantly higher than that of the 25-and 37-year old stands, and the 4-year old stand had a significantly higher Pmass than the 25-year old stand. The Nmass/Pmass of the four stands was 5.16-6.28, and the 25-year old stand had a significantly higher Nmass/Pmass than the 4- and 11-year old stands. The Nmass of the four stands was significantly positively correlated with Pmass, the Pmass was highly significantly negatively correlated with Nmass/Pmass and significantly negatively correlated with stand age, and the Nmass/Pmass was significantly positively correlated with stand age. It was suggested that S. cheilophila at its different developmental stages could have different ecological adaptive strategies. Source

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