Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2017, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (1): 88-96.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.01.011

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Livestock Dynamic Responses to Climate Change in Alpine Grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau: Forage Consumption and Time-lag Effects

FENG Yunfei1,2, ZHANG Xianzhou1,*, SHI Peili1, FU Gang1, ZHANG Yangjian1, ZHAO Guangshuai1,2, ZENG Chaoxu1,2, ZHANG Jing3   

  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. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. College of Global Change and Earth System Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2016-10-30 Online:2017-01-20 Published:2017-01-20
  • Contact: ZHANG Xianzhou, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Chinese Academy of Sciences project (XDB03030400), National Basic Research Program of China (2010CB951704), National Sciences Foundation of China (41171044)

Abstract: Climate change and forage-intake are important components of livestock population systems, but our knowledge about the effects of changes in these properties on livestock is limited, particularly on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. Based on corresponding independent models (CASA and TEM), a human-induced NPP (NPPH) value and forage-intake threshold were obtained to determine their influences on livestock population fluctuation and regrowth on the plateau. The intake threshold value provided compatible results with livestock population performance. If the forage-intake was greater than the critical value of 1.9 (kg DM d-1 sheep-1), the livestock population increased; otherwise, the livestock population decreased. It takes four years to transfer a disturbance in primary productivity to the next trophic level. The relationships between livestock population and NPPH value determined population dynamics via the forage-intake value threshold. Improved knowledge on lag effects will advance our understanding of drivers of climatic changes on livestock population dynamics.

Key words: forage-intake, Northern Tibetan Plateau, NPP, threshold, time-lagged effect, livestock