Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2022, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (1): 107-112.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2022.01.012

• Restoration Ecology and Ecological Engineering • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Facilitation of Restoration by Cushion Plant Androsace tapete in a Degraded Alpine Grassland

HE Yongtao1,2,*(), WANG Fang1,2, NIU Ben1, WANG Zhipeng1,2, LI Meng1,2, SHI Peili1,2, ZHANG Xianzhou1,2   

  1. 1. Lhasa Plateau Ecosystem Research Station, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • Received:2021-07-25 Accepted:2021-10-21 Online:2022-01-30 Published:2022-01-08
  • Contact: HE Yongtao
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(31770477);The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA19050502);The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010201);The National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFA0604801);The National Key R&D Program of China(2016YFC0502001)


The cushion plant Androsace tapete is an endemic species that is widely distributed in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and also predominant in the alpine grassland that is locally degraded due to overgrazing and other reasons. As an ecosystem engineer cushion plant, its ability to facilitate the restoration of degraded alpine grassland was studied in a degraded alpine grassland at an elevation of 4500 m on the southern slope of the Nyainqentanglha Mountains in Damxung. The species diversity, soil nutrients and water content underneath and outside the cushion plant A. tapete were investigated. The results showed that soil nutrients underneath the A. tapete cushion were significantly increased by about 16%-48% compared to outside the cushion, of which the organic matter and total N were increased by 16.2% and 18.9% respectively, and the soil water content was increased about 12%. The index of species diversity of richness (S), Shannon-Wiener’s H and Simpson’s D all increased with the coverage of cushion plant A. tapete. Our results suggested that this cushion plant can facilitate restoration of the degraded alpine grassland by modifying the local soil environment and increasing the community diversity, so it should be conserved for the restoration of degraded alpine grasslands on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Key words: cushion plant, facilitation, degraded alpine meadow, species diversity, soil nutrients