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Nitrogen Critical Loads for an Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau
Zong N.; Shi, P. L.; Song, M. H.; Zhang, X. Z.; Jiang, J.; Chai, X.
Source PublicationEnvironmental Management
KeywordAlpine meadow Nitrogen critical loads Nitrogen deposition Plant community composition Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Soil characteristics forest ecosystems nutrient availability tundra communities microbial biomass terrestrial ecosystems grassland ecosystems buffering capacity species-diversity soil respiration plant diversity
AbstractIncreasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has the potential to alter plant diversity and thus the function and stability of terrestrial ecosystems. N-limited alpine ecosystems are expected to be particularly susceptible to increasing N deposition. However, little is known about the critical loads and saturation thresholds of ecosystem responses to increasing N deposition on the Tibetan Plateau, despite its importance to ecosystem management. To evaluate the N critical loads and N saturation thresholds in an alpine ecosystem, in 2010, we treated an alpine meadow with five levels of N addition (0, 10, 20, 40, and 80 kg N ha(-1) year(-1)) and characterized plant and soil responses. The results showed that plant species richness and diversity index did not statistically vary with N addition treatments, but they both changed with years. N addition affected plant cover and aboveground productivity, especially for grasses, and soil chemical features. The N critical loads and saturation thresholds, in terms of plant cover and biomass change at the community level, were 8.8-12.7 and 50 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) (including the ambient N deposition rate), respectively. However, pronounced changes in soil inorganic N and net N mineralization occurred under the 20 and 40 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) treatments. Our results indicate that plant community cover and biomass are more sensitive than soil to increasing N inputs. The plant community composition in alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau may change under increasing N deposition in the future.
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Document TypeSCI/SSCI论文
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GB/T 7714
Zong N.,Shi, P. L.,Song, M. H.,et al. Nitrogen Critical Loads for an Alpine Meadow Ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau. 2016.
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