Degradation shifts plant communities from S- to R-strategy in an alpine meadow, Tibetan Plateau
Zhou, Tiancai1,2; Hou, Ge1,2; Sun, Jian3; Zong, Ning1,2; Shi, Peili1,2
Corresponding AuthorShi, Peili(shipl@igsnrr.ac.cn)
AbstractThe replacement of dominant sedges/grasses with secondary forbs is common in alpine rangelands, but the un-derlying plant ecological strategies and their relevance to leaf traits and their variabilities of different plant func-tional groups remain largely unknown. Here, we measured key leaf traits and analyzed the competitor, stress-tolerator and ruderal (CSR) strategies of major species with different functional groups (sedges, grasses and forbs) in an alpine meadow along a degradation gradient on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicated that S-selected species were dominant in both non-degraded (C:S:R = 1:95:4%) and severely degraded (C:S:R = 2:87:11%) meadows. However, there was a shift from S-to R-strategy in the communities after rangeland degra-dation. More specifically, sedges and grasses with a "conservative" strategy maintained stronger S-strategy to tol-erate degraded and stressful conditions. In contrast, forbs with an "opportunistic" strategy (increase 9.5% in R-score) tended to adapt to degraded stages. Moreover, 51.1% and 23.9% of the increased R-scores in forbs were accounted by leaf mass per area and specific leaf area, respectively. Generally, higher leaf water and nitrogen con-tents coupled with larger variations in leaf traits and flexible SR strategies in forbs enabled them to capitalize on lower soil water and nutrient availability. Our findings highlighted that the contrasting strategies of plant species in response to the decrease in available resources might lead to niche expansion of secondary forbs and loss of diversity in the degraded alpine meadow. The emerging alternative stable states in the degraded rangelands might bring about a predicament for rangeland restoration. (c) 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V.
KeywordCSR strategy Leaf traits Rangeland degradation Function groups Niche expansion Tibetan Plateau
Indexed BySCI
Funding ProjectNational Natural Science Founda-tion of China[31870406] ; National Natural Science Founda-tion of China[42071066]
Funding OrganizationNational Natural Science Founda-tion of China
WOS Research AreaEnvironmental Sciences & Ecology
WOS SubjectEnvironmental Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000701792800009
Citation statistics
Cited Times:1[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorShi, Peili
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geog Sci & Nat Resources Res, Key Lab Ecosyst Network Observat & Modelling, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Coll Resources & Environm, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Tibetan Plateau Res, State Key Lab Tibetan Plateau Earth Syst Resource, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhou, Tiancai,Hou, Ge,Sun, Jian,et al. Degradation shifts plant communities from S- to R-strategy in an alpine meadow, Tibetan Plateau[J]. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT,2021,800:11.
APA Zhou, Tiancai,Hou, Ge,Sun, Jian,Zong, Ning,&Shi, Peili.(2021).Degradation shifts plant communities from S- to R-strategy in an alpine meadow, Tibetan Plateau.SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT,800,11.
MLA Zhou, Tiancai,et al."Degradation shifts plant communities from S- to R-strategy in an alpine meadow, Tibetan Plateau".SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 800(2021):11.
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