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    Driving Mechanism of Gross Primary Production Changes and Implications for Grassland Management on the Tibetan Plateau
    SUN Wei, LI Meng, WANG Junhao, FU Gang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (5): 472-480.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.05.002
    Abstract567)   HTML24)    PDF (681KB)(98)      

    The contribution of climatic change and anthropogenic activities to vegetation productivity are not fully understood. In this study, we determined potential climate-driven gross primary production (GPPp) using a process-based terrestrial ecosystem model, and actual gross primary production (GPPa) using MODIS Approach in alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau from 2000 to 2015. The GPPa was influenced by both climatic change and anthropogenic activities. Gross primary production caused by anthropogenic activities (GPPh) was calculated as the difference between GPPp and GPPa. Approximately 75.63% and 24.37% of the area percentages of GPPa showed increasing and decreasing trends, respectively. Climatic change and anthropogenic activities were dominant factors responsible for approximately 42.90% and 32.72% of the increasing area percentage of GPPa, respectively. In contrast, climatic change and anthropogenic activities were responsible for approximately 16.88% and 7.49% of the decreasing area percentages of GPPa, respectively. The absolute values of the change trends of GPPp and GPPh of meadows were greater than those of steppes. The GPPp change values were greater than those of GPPh at all elevations, whereas both GPPp and GPPh showed decreasing trends when elevations were greater than or equal to 5000 m, 4600 m and 4800 m in meadows, steppes and all grasslands, respectively. Climatic change had stronger effects on the GPPa changes when elevations were lower than 5000 m, 4600 m and 4800 m in meadows, steppes and all grasslands, respectively. In contrast, anthropogenic activities had stronger effects on the GPPa changes when elevations were greater than or equal to 5000 m, 4600 m and 4800 m in meadows, steppes and all grasslands, respectively. Therefore, the causes of actual gross primary production changes varied with elevations, regions and grassland types, and grassland classification management should be considered on the Tibetan Plateau.

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    Changes of Soil Erosion and Possible Impacts from Ecosystem Recovery in the Three-River Headwaters Region, Qinghai, China from 2000 to 2015
    WANG Zhao, WANG Junbang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (5): 461-471.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.05.001
    Abstract333)   HTML43)    PDF (1342KB)(165)      

    Soil erosion poses a great threat to the sustainability of the ecological environment and the harmonious development of human well-being. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) was used to quantify soil erosion in the Three-River Headwaters region (TRH), Qinghai, China from 2000 to 2015. The possible effects of an ecosystem restoration project on soil erosion were explored against the background of climatic changes in the study area. The model was validated with on-ground observations and showed a satisfactory performance, with a multiple correlation coefficient of 0.62 from the linear regression between the estimations and observations. The soil erosion modulus in 2010-2015 increased 6.2%, but decreased 1.2% compared with those in the periods of 2000-2005 and 2005-2010, respectively. Based on the method of overlay analysis, the interannual change of the estimated soil erosion was dominated by climate (about 64%), specifically by precipitation, rather than by vegetation coverage (about 34%). Despite some uncertainties in the model and data, this study quantified the relative contribution of ecological restoration under global climatic change; meanwhile the complexity, labor-intensiveness and long-range character of ecological restoration projects have to be recognized. On-ground observations over the long-term, further parameterization, and data inputs with higher quality are necessary and essential for decreasing the uncertainties in the estimations.

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    Characterizing the Spatio-temporal Dynamics and Variability in Climate Extremes over the Tibetan Plateau during 1960-2012
    ZHOU Yuke
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 397-414.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.007
    Abstract358)   HTML4)    PDF (14851KB)(149)      

    Extreme climate events play an important role in studies of long-term climate change. As the Earth’s Third Pole, the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is sensitive to climate change and variation. In this study on the TP, the spatiotemporal changes in climate extreme indices (CEIs) are analyzed based on daily maximum and minimum surface air temperatures and precipitation at 98 meteorological stations, most with elevations of at least 4000 m above sea level, during 1960-2012. Fifteen temperature extreme indices (TEIs) and eight precipitation extreme indices (PEIs) were calculated. Then, their long-term change patterns, from spatial and temporal perspectives, were determined at regional, eco-regional and station levels. The entire TP region exhibits a significant warming trend, as reflected by the TEIs. The regional cold days and nights show decreasing trends at rates of -8.9 d (10 yr)-1 (days per decade) and -17.3 d (10 yr)-1, respectively. The corresponding warm days and nights have increased by 7.6 d (10 yr)-1 and 12.5 d (10 yr)-1, respectively. At the station level, the majority of stations indicate statistically significant trends for all TEIs, but they show spatial heterogeneity. The eco-regional TEIs show patterns that are consistent with the entire TP. The growing season has become longer at a rate of 5.3 d (10 yr)-1. The abrupt change points for CEIs were examined, and they were mainly distributed during the 1980s and 1990s. The PEIs on the TP exhibit clear fluctuations and increasing trends with small magnitudes. The annual total precipitation has increased by 2.8 mm (10 yr)-1 (not statistically significant). Most of the CEIs will maintain a persistent trend, as indicated by their Hurst exponents. The developing trends of the CEIs do not show a corresponding change with increasing altitude. In general, the warming trends demonstrate an asymmetric pattern reflected by the rapid increase in the warming trends of the cold TEIs, which are of greater magnitudes than those of the warm TEIs. This finding indicates a positive shift in the distribution of the daily minimum temperatures throughout the TP. Most of the PEIs show weak increasing trends, which are not statistically significant. This work aims to delineate a comprehensive picture of the extreme climate conditions over the TP that can enhance our understanding of its changing climate.

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    Quantitative Classification and Ordination of Plant Communities in the Upper and Middle Reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin
    WANG Tong,WANG Jingsheng,DING Yuke,LIU Wenjing,BAO Xiaoting,LI Chao
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 389-396.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.006
    Abstract366)   HTML0)    PDF (2682KB)(62)      

    Based on vegetation survey data and environmental data of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin, we conducted a quantitative ecological analysis of the vegetation community composition and the relationship between species and the environment in the study area. The results showed that 44 sampling sites and 68 plant species in the study area can be classified into seven subtypes: Artemisia minor + Stipa purpurea; Artemisia demissa + Stipa purpurea + Artemisia wellbyi; Kobresia pygmaea; Trikeraia hookeri; Sophora moorcroftiana + Cotoneaster multiflorus + Pennisetum centrasiaticum; Artemisia frigida; Potentilla fruticosa + Orinus thoroldii. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) indicated that both longitude and altitude play important roles in site and species distribution patterns. In addition, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that in the upper and middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin, changes in temperature and precipitation caused by longitude are the main factors controlling the formation and transition of vegetation community types. Moreover, natural vegetation could be divided into three types: desert steppe community (source area), alpine steppe community (middle reaches region), and shrub community (confluence of Yarlung Zangbo River and Nyangqu River).

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    Climatic Changes Dominant Interannual Trend in Net Primary Productivity of Alpine Vulnerable Ecosystems
    YANG Yihan,WANG Junbang,LIU Peng,LU Guangxin,LI Yingnian
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 379-388.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.005
    Abstract576)   HTML18)    PDF (1323KB)(186)      

    The Three-River Headwaters (TRH), which is the source area of Yangtze River, Yellow River and Lancang River, is vulnerable and sensitive, and its alpine ecosystem is considered an important barrier for China’s ecological security. Understanding the impact of climate changes is essential for determining suitable measures for ecological environmental protection and restoration against the background of global climatic changes. However, different explanations of the interannual trends in complex alpine ecosystems have been proposed due to limited availability of reliable data and the uncertainty of the model itself. In this study, the remote sensing-process coupled model (GLOPEM-CEVSA) was used to estimate the net primary productivity (NPP) of vegetation in the TRH region from 2000 to 2012. The estimated NPP significantly and linearly correlated with the above-ground biomass sampled in the field (the multiple correlative coefficient R2 = 0.45, significant level P < 0.01) and showed better performance than the MODIS productivity product, i.e. MOD17A3, (R2 = 0.21). The climate of TRH became warmer and wetter during 1990-2012, and the years 2000 to 2012 were warmer and wetter than the years1990-2000. Responding to the warmer and wetter climate, the NPP had an increasing trend of 13.7 g m-2 (10 yr)-1 with a statistical confidence of 86% (P = 0.14). Among the three basins, the NPP of the Yellow River basin increased at the fastest rate of 17.44 g m-2 (10 yr)-1 (P = 0.158), followed by the Yangtze River basin, and the Lancang River, which was the slowest with a rate of 12.2 g m-2 (10 yr)-1 and a statistical confidence level of only 67%. A multivariate linear regression with temperature and precipitation as the independent variables and NPP as the dependent variable at the pixel level was used to analyze the impacts of climatic changes on the trend of NPP. Both temperature and precipitation can explain the interannual variability of 83% in grassland NPP in the whole region, and can explain high, medium and low coverage of 78%, 84% and 83%, respectively, for grassland in the whole region. The results indicate that climate changes play a dominant role in the interannual trend of vegetation productivity in the alpine ecosystems on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This has important implications for the formulation of ecological protection and restoration policies for vulnerable ecosystems against the background of global climate changes.

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    Response of Microbial Communities in Soil to Multi-level Warming in a Highland Barley System of the Lhasa River
    FU Gang,SUN Wei,LI Shaowei,ZHONG Zhiming
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 373-378.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.004
    Abstract329)   HTML2)    PDF (511KB)(102)      

    No studies have examined the effect of experimental warming on the microbial biomass and community composition of soil in agricultural ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Thus it is unclear whether the influences of experimental warming on microbial communities in soil are related to warming magnitude in croplands on this Plateau. This study performed warming experiment (control, low- and high-level) in a highland barley system of the Lhasa River in May 2014 to examine the correlation between the response of microbial communities in soil to warming and warming magnitude. Topsoil samples (0-10 and 10-20 cm) were collected on September 14, 2014. Experimental warming at both low and high levels significantly increased soil temperature by 1.02 ℃ and 1.59 ℃, respectively at the depth of 15 cm. Phospho lipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to determine the microbial community in soil. The low-level experimental warming did not significantly affect the soil’s total PLFA, fungi, bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), actinomycetes, gram-positive bacteria (G+), gram-negative bacteria (G-), protozoa, the ratio of fungi to bacteria (F/B ratio), and ratio of G+ to G- (G+/G- ratio) at the 0-10 and 10-20 cm depth. The low-level experimental warming also did not significantly alter the composition of microbial community in soil at the 0-10 and 10-20 cm depth. The high-level experimental warming significantly increased total PLFA by 74.4%, fungi by 78.0%, bacteria by 74.0%, AMF by 66.9%, actinomycetes by 81.4%, G+ by 67.0% and G- by 74.4% at the 0-10 cm depth rather than at 10-20 cm depth. The high-level experimental warming significantly altered microbial community composition in soil at the 0-10 cm depth rather than at 10-20 cm depth. Our findings suggest that the response of microbial communities in soil to warming varied with warming magnitudes in the highland barley system of the Lhasa River.

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    Predicting Potential Geographic Distribution of Tibetan Incarvillea younghusbandii Using the Maxent Model
    KAN Aike, YANG Xiao, LI Guoqing, WANG Yingjie, TESREN Luobu, ZENG Yelong, CHENG Zhenlong
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (6): 681-689.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.011
    Abstract269)   HTML1)    PDF (3393KB)(172)      
    Incarvillea younghusbandii is a well-known Tibetan medicinal plant with considerable development and research value distributed widely throughout the Tibetan plateau. It is important to study spatial distribution patterns of the plant in order to develop effective protection measures. Based on field survey work and environmental data, the potential geographic distribution of Incarvillea younghusbandii was delineated using a Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model with 28 environmental variables that screened for climate, topography, human activity and biological factors. Our results showed that the main geographic range of Incarvillea younghusbandii included the valley between the Yarlung Zangbo river and the Duoxiong Zangbo river, the valley in the middle section of the Himalaya Mountains, and the area between the north side of the east section of the Himalayas and the south bank of the middle reach of the Yarlung Zangbo river. Distribution may spread to parts of the eastern Himalayas. The Jackknife test indicated that soil types, ratio of precipitation to air temperature, extreme atmospheric pressure differences and annual precipitation were the most important predictive factors for the model, while other variables made relatively small contributions.
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    Analysis of the Water Environmental Capacity of Zhongba-Nyingchi Section of the Yarlung Tsangpo River
    ZHAO Xiang, LIU Zhaofei, WANG Rui, YAO Zhijun
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (6): 690-699.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.012
    Abstract261)   HTML1)    PDF (607KB)(129)      
    The Yarlung Tsangpo River, the longest river in Tibet, houses most of the population and economy in Tibet Autonomous province. Under the rapid development of economy and society in Tibet, the pollution in the Yarlung Tsangpo River basin has rapidly increased. Evaluating water quality and water environmental capacity is needed for water resource management in Tibet. This study used a single factor evaluation method to evaluate water quality of the Zhongba-Nyingchi section of the Yarlung Tsangpo River based on measured data of COD Cr, NH3-N and TP in the study area. Based on these data, determinations of ideal water environmental capacity, emissions of pollutants and remaining water environmental capacity of the study area were made by a one-dimensional steady water quality model under either section-head control or cross-section control. The data indicate that most of the monitoring sections in the study area experienced good water quality. The three pollutants all had large remaining water environmental capacity generally, but TP exceeded state levels in the two upstream functional areas, and levels above state standards of COD Cr and TP were found in several calculation cells of the two downstream functional areas. Therefore, emissions of pollutants need to be reduced to protect the water environment quality of the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
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    Vegetation Pattern in Northern Tibet in Relation to Environmental and Geo-spatial Factors
    TIAN Li, ZHANG Yangjian, Claus HOLZAPFEL, HUANG Ke, CHEN Ning, TAO Jian, ZHU Juntao
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (5): 526-537.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.05.010
    Abstract310)   HTML1)    PDF (629KB)(142)      
    Environmental and Geo-spatial factors have long been considered as crucial determinants of species composition and distributions. However, quantifying the relative contributions of these factors for the alpine ecosystems is lacking. The Tibetan Plateau has a unique ecological environment and vegetation types. Our objectives are to quantify the spatial distributions of plant communities on the Northern Tibetan Alpine grasslands and to explore the relationships between vegetation composition, Geo-spatial factors and environmental factors. We established 63 field plots along a 1200-km gradient on the Northern Tibetan Plateau Alpine Grassland and employed the two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) and the detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA). Fourteen communities of alpine grassland were identifiable along the transect and consisted of three vegetation types: Alpine meadow, Alpine steppe, and desert steppe. Vegetation composition and spatial distribution appeared to be largely determined by mean annual precipitation and less influenced by temperature. A large fraction (73.5%) of the variation in vegetation distribution was explained by environmental variables along this transect, somewhat less by Geo-spatial factors (56.3%). The environmental and Geo-spatial factors explained 29.6% and 12.3% of the total variation, respectively, while their interaction explained 43.9%. Our findings provide strong empirical evidence for explaining biological and environmental synergetic relationships in Northern Tibet.
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    Estimation of Daily Vapor Pressure Deficit Using MODIS Potential Evapotranspiration on the Tibetan Plateau
    SHEN Zhenxi, SUN Wei, LI Shaowei, ZHANG Haorui, FU Gang, YU Chengqun, ZHANG Guangyu
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (5): 538-544.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.05.011
    Abstract304)   HTML5)    PDF (624KB)(112)      
    Vapor pressure deficit ( VPD) is an important parameter in modelling hydrologic cycles and vegetation productivity. Meteorological stations are scarce in remote areas, which often results in imprecise estimations of VPD on the Tibetan Plateau. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) provides evapotranspiration data, which may offer the possibility of scaling up VPD estimations on the Tibetan Plateau. However, no studies thus far have estimated VPD using MODIS evapotranspiration data on the Tibetan Plateau. Therefore, this study used MODIS potential evapotranspiration ( PET) to estimate VPD in alpine meadows, alpine steppes, croplands, forests and shrublands for the year, spring, summer, autumn and winter in 2000-2012. A series of root-mean- squared-error ( RMSE) and mean-absolute-error ( MAE) values were obtained for correlating measured VPD and estimated VPD using MODIS PET data for each listed time period and vegetation type: whole year (0.98-2.15 hPa and 0.68-1.44 hPa), spring (0.95-2.34 hPa and 0.72-1.54 hPa), summer (1.39-2.60 hPa and 0.89-1.96 hPa), autumn (0.78-1.93 hPa and 0.56-1.36 hPa), winter (0.48-1.40 hPa and 0.36-0.98 hPa), alpine steppes (0.48- 1.39 hPa and 0.36-1.00 hPa), alpine meadows (0.58-1.39 hPa and 0.44-0.90 hPa), croplands (1.10-2.55 hPa and 0.82-1.74 hPa), shrublands (0.98-1.90 hPa and 0.78-1.37 hPa), and forests (1.40-2.60 hPa and 0.98-1.96 hPa), respectively. Therefore, MODIS PET may be used to estimate VPD, and better results may be obtained if future studies incorporate vegetation types and seasons when the VPD data are estimated using MODIS PET on the Tibetan Plateau.
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    Geographical and Botanical Variation in Concentrations of Molybdenum in Natural Pasture Plants and Surface Water and Yak Molybdenum Ingestion in North Tibet, China
    TIAN Yuan, YU Chengqun, ZHA Xinjie, WU Jianshuang, GAO Xing, FENG Chujian
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (5): 545-553.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.05.012
    Abstract224)   HTML0)    PDF (489KB)(112)      
    The North Tibet plateau is the world highest plateau with a unique alpine grassland and water environment. To obtain a better understanding of the correct supply of Molybdenum (Mo) to livestock in north Tibet, we investigated the content and geographical variation of Mo in different families of pasture plants ( n=1017) and water ( n=40), then discuss the Cuprum (Cu):Mo ratio in different plant families, and calculate the total Mo intake of the yak in north Tibet. The average Mo concentration in five families preferred for grazing are: Compositae (2.71 μg g -1), Leguminosae (2.70 μg g -1), Gramineae (2.48 μg g -1), Cyperaceae (1.63 μg g -1), and Rosaceae (1.51 μg g -1). There was a strong geographical variation in Mo concentration ( p < 0.001). The mean value of Mo in north Tibet surface water from 15 sites is 0.89 µg L -1. The Mo ingestion by yak through these plants and water in north Tibet is about 9586 µg day -1 which means the toxicity of Mo does not exist in the average daily diet. However, the large geographical variation found may cause some toxicity of Mo in the average daily intake of north Tibet pasture plants in some areas. The Cu:Mo ratio of 2:60 is considered the limit for risk of Mo hyperactivity, while extremely high Cu:Mo ratios may lead to chronic copper poisoning. Our survey of plant samples found 43.29% below and 29.3% above the limiting Cu:Mo ratio of 60 indicating some risk to north Tibet livestock.
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