Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (9): 867-877.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0083

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of clipping and fertilizing on the relationship between functional diversity and aboveground net primary productivity in an alpine meadow

PAN Shi-Yu1, KONG Bin-Bin1, YAO Tian-Hua1, WEI Xin-Hua1, LI Ying-Nian2, ZHU Zhi-Hong1,*()   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
    2Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, China
  • Received:2015-05-25 Accepted:2015-08-13 Online:2015-09-23 Published:2015-09-03
  • Contact: Zhi-Hong ZHU
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Abstract: <i>Aims</i>

Much attention has been paid for the relationship between species diversity (SD) and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). However, the effect of functional diversity (FD) on ANPP was more straightforward. Most researchers considered SD or FD as an independent variable to study the relationship between biodiversity and ANPP. In fact, the relationship may be affected by abiotic factors. Our objective was to study how different disturbance factors affect the relationship of FD-ANPP.


The experiment was conducted in the alpine Kobresia humilis meadow at Haibei Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences with clipping (unclipping, stubbled 3 cm and 1 cm) and fertilizing (12.75 g·m-2·a-1 urea + 3.06 g·m-2·a-1 (NH4)2HPO4) treatments from 2007 to 2013. General linear model univariate ANOVA, regression analysis and ANCOVA were used for studying the effects of clipping, fertilizing, year and their interaction on ANPP and FD and the change of relationship of FD-ANPP.

<i>Important findings</i>

ANPP was enhanced by increasing clipping intensity and soil nutrient extremely significantly (p < 0.01). However, the effect extent was different in each year. ANPP presented a fluctuant downward trend year-to-year while FD increased along time. FD was increased by fertilizing significantly (p < 0.05), while the effect of clipping on FD was not significant (p > 0.05). Under the six kinds of treatment combinations of clipping and fertilizing, the relationship of FD-ANPP presented two patterns including linear positive correlation and no correlation mainly depending on clipping. No matter the community was fertilized or not, in the unclipped community, FD showed no correlation with ANPP (n = 90, p > 0.05). However, in the clipped community, clipping increased FD and ANPP in the same time, which facilitated them showing linear positive correlation. Fertilizing cannot affect the pattern of relationship of FD-ANPP, but the slope and intercept of equations of relationship were influenced by fertilizing and clipping. The results suggested that the relationship of FD-ANPP was influenced by clipping and fertilizing jointly, while clipping plays a leading role in changing their relationship patterns.

Key words: functional diversity, aboveground net primary productivity, clipping, fertilizing

Fig. 1

Quadrats design layout of subplot. F, fertilized; NF, unfertilized."

Table 1

Plant functional traits and their categories for calculating functional diversity"

性状类型 Trait types 性状名称 Trait names 性状状态/性状值 Trait states/Trait value
定性性状 Qualitative trait 生活周期 Life cycle
生长型 Growth form
分类群 Taxonomic group
子叶类型 Cotyledon type
非多年生 Not perennial; 多年生 Perennial
散生 Scattered; 丛生 Bunched; 密丛生 Closely bunched
禾草 Gramineae; 莎草 Cyperaceae; 豆科植物 Leguminosae; 杂类草 Forbs
单子叶 Monocotyledon; 双子叶 Dicotyledon
定量性状 Quantitative trait 株高 Plant height 标准化实测值 Standardization of measured values

Table 2

ANOVA for the effects of clipping, fertilizing on the aboveground net primary productivity and functional diversity in alpine meadow during 2009- 2013"

Source of variance
df (m, n)
F 检验 F-test p F 检验 F-test p
Whole plot
Y × C
2, 28
2, 28
4, 28
8, 28
C × F
Y × F
Y × C × F
Y × C × B
1, 30
2, 30
4, 30
8, 30
28, 30

Fig. 2

Effects of clipping, fertilizing and year on the aboveground net primary productivity (mean ± SE). C0, C1, C2, F and NF indicate no clipping, moderate clipping, heavy clipping, fertilizing and no fertilizing. The same letter above error bars indicates no difference among treatments (p > 0.05), and different letters indicate significant differences among treatments (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 3

Effects of clipping and fertilizing on aboveground net primary productivity during 2009-2013 (mean ± SE). The same letter above error bars indicates no difference among treatments (p > 0.05), and different letters indicate significant differences between treatments (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 4

Effects of clipping, fertilizing and year on the functional diversity (mean ± SE). C0, C1, C2, F and NF indicate no clipping, moderate clipping, heavy clipping, fertilizing and no fertilizing. The same letter above error bars indicates no difference among treatments, and different letters indicate significant differences between treatments (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 5

Effects of fertilizing on functional diversity during 2009-2013 (mean ± SE). F, fertilizing; NF, no fertilizing. Different letters indicate significant differences between treatments (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 6

Relationships between functional diversity and aboveground net primary productivity (logarithmic scale) in different gradients of clipping and fertilizing treatments (p < 0.05). C0, C1, C2, F, NF see Fig. 2."

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