Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (2): 159-166.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00159

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Soil nitrogen dynamics and productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain, China

XU Qian-Qian, LIU Qi-Jing*, ZHANG Guo-Chun   

  1. Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Department of Forest Sciences, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2010-01-28 Revised:2010-04-14 Online:2011-02-01 Published:2011-01-21
  • Contact: LIU Qi-Jing

Abstract:

Aims Snowpack plant communities in alpine tundra are active in comparison with surrounding vegetation, despite the short growing season due to thick snow cover. Our objective was to understand the growth mechanism of snowpack communities. Methods The nutrient dynamics and primary productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was investigated in different seasons. Important findings Soil temperature under snowpack during winter was warmer than snow-free areas, and the minimum temperature was significantly higher. Litter decomposition and nitrogen mineralization under snowpack were active even in winter, and nitrogen content was high with rapid mineralization. Annual net primary productivity was 4 046 kg·hm–2·a–1. The unique hydro-thermo conditions, nutrient cycling features and high leaf area index were key factors maintaining community structure and primary productivity.