Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 187-198.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00187

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

CO2 fluxes and their driving factors over alpine meadow grassland ecosystems in the northern shore of Qinghai Lake, China

ZHANG Fa-Wei1,5, LI Ying-Nian1,5*, CAO Guang-Min1,5, LI Feng-Xia2, YE Guang-Ji3, LIU Ji-Hong4, WEI Yong-Lin4, and ZHAO Xin-Quan1,5   

  1. 1Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810001, China;

    2Institute of Qinghai Meteorological Science Research, Xining 810001, China;

    3Institute of Biotechnology of Qinghai Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Xining 810016, China;

    4Haibei Animal Husbandry Meteorological Experimental Station of Qinghai Province, Haibei, Qinghai 810200, China;

    5Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810001, China
  • Received:2011-10-25 Revised:2012-01-29 Online:2012-02-28 Published:2012-03-01
  • Contact: LI Ying-Nian


Aims Meadow grassland is a dominant vegetation type on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, but its mechanisms controlling the exchange of CO2 across a spectrum of time scales and carbon budget remain unclear. Our objective was to investigate the main drivers of ecosystem carbon dynamics and understand the potential response to future climate warming.
Methods We used the eddy covariance method for continuously measuring net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and environmental factors over meadow grassland on the northern shore of Qinghai Lake from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.
Important findings Diurnal changes of NEE were controlled by photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) during the middle growing season (May to September), and air temperature (Ta) was the determining factor on diurnal NEE during other periods. The maximum daily CO2 uptake and release rate were 11.37 g CO2·m–2·d–1 on July 1 and 4.04 g CO2·m–2·d–1 on October 21, respectively. Ta was the primary environmental factor related to daily NEE,
and the correlation was described by an exponential-linear equation (R2 = 0.54, p < 0.01). A significant asymptotical response of daily NEE with increasing leaf area index (LAI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) was observed. The interaction effect of LAI and Ta was significant (p < 0.05), while main effect of EVI versus Ta was more important (p < 0.001). Respiration quotient (Q10) was 2.42 and ecosystem total respiration (Reco) consumed 74% of gross primary production (GPP). The proper magnitude of diurnal temperature range (<14.8) could be propitious to ecosystem carbon sequestration. The meadow grassland acted as carbon ℃ sink and absorbed 271.31 g CO2·m–2 from the atmosphere during the study period.

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