Effects of Grazing Exclusion on Soil Properties in Maqin Alpine Meadow, Tibetan Plateau, China
Hongqin Li1,2, Fawei Zhang1,2, Shaojuan Mao4, Jingbin Zhu1,3, Yongsheng Yang1,2, Huidan He1,3, Yingnian Li1,2
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1Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining, China
2Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining, China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
4Qinghai University, Xining, China
Publish date: 2016-07-22
Submission date: 2015-09-29
Final revision date: 2016-02-29
Acceptance date: 2016-03-07
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(4):1583–1587
Grazing exclusion with fencing has been widely implemented to rehabilitate degraded grasslands in China. However, the response of grassland ecosystems has remained controversial among sites and vegetation types. In this study, characteristics of vegetation and soil properties under degradation gradients (light and middle) and grazing exclusion were examined in the Maqin alpine meadow in August 2013. The results showed that grazing exclusion resulted in a significant recovery in vegetation with higher above- and below-ground biomasses, which reached 459.29 g·m-2 and 5,657.93 g·m-2 in comparison with 132.53 g·m-2 and 1,494.37 g·m-2 in middle degraded plots, respectively. Soil bulk density in grazing exclusion decreased especially obviously in the 0-10 cm layer. Soil capillary and saturated water in grazing exclusion increased to 1,075.2 g·kg-1 and 1,072.4 g·kg-1, respectively, in the 0-10 cm layer. They also increased a little in the 10-20 cm layer. Grazing exclusion had significant positive effects on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content, especially in the 0-10 cm layer. The results above indicated that grazing exclusion was an effective restoration approach to rehabilitate degraded alpine meadow in Maqin.