This study was aimed at qualifying the methane emission ability of different communities in alpine meadow, and monitoring if the dominant species from these communities could emit methane in a sand culture experiment. Using the static chamber technique and gas chromatography method, two experiments were conducted in the field and in laboratory. First, the methane flux rate was measured in plant communities: natural alpine meadows (NM), Elymus nutans pasture (EP), herbaceous community in shrub (HS), and a Poa fruticosa meadow (PS). A 3-month sand culture experiment was conducted to show the non-microbial methane emission from living plants. Average methane emission rates were estimated to be 16.83 µg m-2 h-1(range -49.3–107.8), 28.49 µg m-2 h-1 (range -55.0–96.2) and 20.91 µg m-2 h-1 (range -31.9– 145.8) for NM, EP, and PS, respectively. Methane emission rate from EP was significantly higher than from NM during the growing season. The reclaim of grassland would enhance the methane emission in this aera through this one year's measurement, but whether this conclusion suit to the whole Tibet Plateau, it remains further longer time and larger spatial scale experiments to verify it. The result of the sand culture experiment showed that some plant species emitted methane in an aerobic, nonmicrobial environment, most of herbaceous species showed a methane emission characteristic, the methane emission from plant may have a species dependent characteristic.
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Vol. 63 • No. 2