Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 275-283.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00275

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Plant functional type effects on methane uptake by soils in typical grasslands of Inner Mongolia

LIU Wei1,2*, WANG Ji-Ming3, WANG Zhi-Ping1   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China;

    2Graduate Universityof Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;

    3Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of the Conservation and Exploitation of Biological Resources,College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, Anhui 241000, China
  • Received:2010-05-31 Revised:2010-12-03 Online:2011-03-02 Published:2011-03-01
  • Contact: LIU Wei E-mail:lw076@163.com

Abstract:

Aims Methane (CH4) is an important atmospheric trace gas, contributing to global warming and atmospheric chemistry. Aerated soils are a biological sink for atmospheric CH4. In this study, a set of measurements were made both to quantify CH4 uptake by soils in the typical grasslands of Inner Mongolia and examine the effects of plant functional type/group on the uptake. Methods Static chamber sampling and gas chromatography measurement were used to examine the effects of 4 PFTs (Plant Functional Types), i.e. PR (Perennial Rhizome), PB (Perennial Bunchgrass), PF (Perennial Forbs), and AB (Annuals/Biennials) in the platform of BEF (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning), on CH4 uptake by aerated soils. Important findings (1) The CH4 uptake by soils showed seasonal change, which was related to soil water content and temperature. (2) Over most of observed periods in 2008 and 2009, there were no significant differences in the soil CH4 uptake rates among the various treatments of PFTs. During rapid plant growth in August, however, there existed the significant differences in the soil CH4 uptake rates. The soil CH4 uptake rates were lower in PB treatment. (3) AB or PF increased the uptake of CH4 by soils, while PR or PB had little influence on the uptake of CH4 by soil. A number of soil physico-chemical factors such as temperature, water content, and gas diffusion are considered to affect CH4 uptake. The differences in the CH4 uptake rates by soils may be explained using these environmental factors affected by PFTs. In the aspects of trace gas, this study indicates that PFT has prominent effects on ecosystem, and that the sub-dominant species and companion species (AB/PF),by regulating soil microbe and environmental factors, have important and irreplaceable roles on the take-up of CH4 by soils.

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