Polish Journal of Environmental Studies
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ISO Abbrev. Title: Pol. J. Environ. Stud.

DOI: 10.15244/pjoes/64325

Vol. 25, No. 6 (2016), 2305-2313


Response of Soil Carbon and Nitrogen to 15-year Experimental Warming in Two Alpine Habitats (Kobresia Meadow and Potentilla Shrubland) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Dongdong Chen1, Liang Zhao1, Qi Li1, Hai Cai2, Jingmei Li3, Shixiao Xu1, Xinquan Zhao1

1Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station,
Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, PR China
2Department of Agricultural Economics, Wuwei Occupational College, Wuwei 733000, PR China
3Qinghai Academy of Social Sciences, Xining 810001, PR China


Abstract: Although the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) has experienced striking warming during the past century, information on how soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools of the alpine regions on the QTP respond to long-term warming is scarce. The aims of this study were to assess the response of soil organic C (SOC), total N (TN), labile C and N – including microbial biomass C (MBC) and N (MBN), inorganic N (Ninorg), dissolved organic C (DOC), and N (DON) – to 15-year experimental warming in an alpine region (Kobresia meadow and Potentilla scrubland), on the northeastern QTP using open-top chambers (OTCs). Fifteen-year experimental warming had no effect on SOC and TN concentrations and storage at 0-30 cm soil depth, either in Kobresia meadow or Potentilla scrubland habitat, which might be related to the low temperature increase and the unchanged water content. Long-term warming obviously affected soil labile C and N and their contributions to SOC and TN, especially in the meadow habitat, but the values were low, thus the variation of the labile C and N was not enough to influence total C and N storage. The C and N pools were shown to be controlled by different controlling factors, and scrubland was more stable than the meadow ecosystem confronting the change of environment.

 

Keywords: Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, experimental warming, soil dissolved organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, alpine region


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