Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (5): 516-524.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.05.009

• Human Activities and Ecosystem • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of Long-term Experimental Warming on the Nutritional Quality of Alpine Meadows in the Northern Tibet

SUN Wei, LI Shaowei, ZHANG Yangjian, FU Gang*()   

  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
  • Received:2020-03-27 Accepted:2020-06-02 Online:2020-09-30 Published:2020-09-30
  • Contact: FU Gang
  • Supported by:
    Foundation: The Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences(2020054);The National Key Research Projects of China(2016YFC0502005);The National Key Research Projects of China(2017YFA0604801);The Second Comprehensive Scientific Investigation of the Tibetan Plateau(2019QZKK0302);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(31600432);Bingwei Outstanding Young Talents Program of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences(2018RC202);Tibet Science and Technology Major Projects of the Pratacultural Industry(XZ201901NA03)


The nutritional quality of grasslands is closely related to recruitment of young and population dynamics of livestock and wild herbivores. However, the response of nutritional quality to climate warming has not been fully understood in the alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau, especially in the Northern Tibet. Here, we investigated the effect of experimental warming ( beginning in 2008) on nutritional quality in three alpine meadows (site A: 4313 m, B: 4513 m and C: 4693 m) in the Northern Tibet. Crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), crude ash (Ash), ether extract (EE) and water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) were examined in 2018-2019. Experimental warming only increased the content of CP by 27.25%, ADF by 89.93% and NDF by 41.20%, but it decreased the content of Ash by 57.76% in 2019 at site B. The contents of CP and WSC both increased with soil moisture (SM). The content of CP decreased with vapor pressure deficit (VPD). The combined effect of SM and VPD was greater than air temperature (Ta) in controlling the variations of the CP content, ADF content and nutritional quality. Compared to Ta, VPD explained more of the variation in NDF and Ash content. All of these findings suggest that warming effects on nutritional quality may vary with site and year, and water availability may have a stronger effect on the nutritional quality than temperature in the alpine meadow of the Northern Tibet.

Key words: acid detergent fiber, crude ash, crude protein, ether extract, neutral detergent fiber, water-soluble carbohydrate