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Multi-factors Experimental Study of Pastures on the Tibetan Plateau

Author: Update time: 07-19-2009 Printer Text Size: A A A

PI: Shiping Wang. Participators: Huakun Zhou and Shixiao Xu.

Objectives of the study: Multi-factors experimental study of pastures was conducted in two sites (temperate and alpine zones). Scientific questions will include as follows:
1) How to establish pastures in the region?
2) Effects of species evenness on forage production and quality;
3) Effects of fertilization (N, P and manure) on forage production and quality;
4) Effects of different managed measurements on N mineralization and nutrient utilization efficiency;
5) Effects of different managed measurements on greenhouse gases fluxes and net carbon exchange of ecosystem (NEE);

Monitoring items:
1) Forage production and quality;
2) N mineralization and nutrient utilization efficiency;
3) Decompositions of remaining stubbles and roots;
4) Greenhouse gases fluxes and NEE.

Primary results and conclusions:

1) Effects of species evenness on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) varied with fertilization.
2) Fertilization increased soil respiration and N2O emission.
3) We conducted an experiment with four treatments (i.e. winter-grazed, natural alpine meadow; naturally restored alpine meadow 8-years after cultivation; oat pasture; and bare soil without roots) during the growing seasons of 2007 and 2008 to examine the question of CH4 emission by plant communities in the alpine meadow. Each treatment consumed CH4 in closed, opaque chambers in the field, but two types of alpine meadow vegetation reduced CH4 consumption compared to bare soil, whereas oat pasture increased consumption. This result could imply that meadow vegetation produces CH4. However, measurements of soil temperature and water content showed significant differences between vegetated and bare soil and appeared to explain differences in CH4 production between treatments. Our study strongly suggests that the apparent CH4 production by vegetation, when compared to bare soil in some previous studies, might represent differences in soil temperature and water-filled pore space (WFPS) and not true vegetation sources of CH4.


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