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1 December 2015 Effects of the Conversion of a Degraded Alpine Kobresia Meadow on the Organic Carbon and Nitrogen of Soil and Plants
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Abstract

Three sites with both degraded alpine Kobresia meadow (DM) and adjacent mix-seeded perennial grasses pastures (MSP) in the headwater region of the Yellow River, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, were selected to investigate plant and soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) and their isotope composition. The SOC and TN in the top soil layer to a depth of 10 cm were significantly affected by ploughing and planting mix-seeded perennial grasses. The SOC content in 0–10 cm soil layer of MSPs was 25.6%, 5.5% and 12.9% lower than those of DMs at the I-III sites, respectively, and the rate of OC density loss was 23.8, 14.5 and 18.2%, respectively. The soil TN content in 0–10 cm soil layer of MSPs was 16.6%, 2.2% and 9.4% lower than those of the DMs at three sites, respectively, and the TN density was 15.6, 10.6 and 15.3% lower than those of DMs, respectively. The plant and soil 13C values (-27.03‰, -25.16‰, respectively) suggest that the vegetation of both DMs and MSPs are C3 plant communities. The 15 N value in the soil (>4‰) was significantly greater than in plants (<2‰). No differences of either 13C or 15N abundance between MSPs and DMs at Site I and II, but were found at Site III, indicating that the effects were site specific. The rehabilitation of a degraded Kobresia meadow has a significant influence on the soil properties, SOC and TN. Caution should be taken in site selection before performing conversion.

Youming Qiao, Zhonghua Duan, Xiaoqing Li, Xiaolong Quan, and Haidong Liang "Effects of the Conversion of a Degraded Alpine Kobresia Meadow on the Organic Carbon and Nitrogen of Soil and Plants," Polish Journal of Ecology 63(4), (1 December 2015). https://doi.org/10.3161/15052249PJE2015.63.4.003
Published: 1 December 2015
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