Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 62-70.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0038

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Carbon density and its spatial distribution in the Potentilla fruticosa dominated alpine shrub in Qinghai, China

Lu-Cun YANG1,2, Chang-Bin LI1,3, Yi NING1,3, Xiu-Qing NIE1,3, Wen-Hua XU1,2, Guo-Ying ZHOU1,2,*()   

  1. 1Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, China

    2Key Laboratory of Tibetan Medicine Research, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, China
    and
    3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-01-11 Accepted:2016-11-11 Online:2017-01-10 Published:2017-01-23
  • Contact: Guo-Ying ZHOU
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail: kangjingyao_nj@163.com

Abstract:

Aims Shrub recovery is recognized as an important cause of the increase of carbon stocks in China, and yet there are great uncertainties in the carbon sink capacities of shrubs. Our objectives were to estimate carbon density and its spatial distribution in alpine shrubs.
Methods Eight sites in Potentilla fruticosa dominated shrublands across Qinghai, China were investigated. Plant biomass and carbon content in leaves, branches and stems, and roots were measured to analyze the biomass allocation and carbon density.
Important findings Mean carbon densities in biological carbon, litter, soil and whole ecosystem of P. fruticosa shrublands were 5088.54, 542.1, 35903.76 and 41534.4 kg·hm-2, respectively. Carbon density in the shrub layer was more than 68% of the biological carbon density of the whole ecosystem and was mainly distributed in roots (49.5%-56.1%). Carbon density of the herbaceous layer was 22.5% of the biological carbon density of the whole ecosystem and was also mainly distributed in roots (59.6%-75.1%). The biological carbon density of P. fruticosa shrublands (5.08 t·hm-2) was lower than the average carbon density of shrub communities in China (10. 88 t·hm-2). Soil carbon density contributed the largest proportion (85.8%) of total carbon density in P. fruticosa shrublands.

Key words: biological carbon density, litter carbon density, soil organic carbon density, total carbon density