Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 22-30.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0199

Special Issue: 中国灌丛生态系统碳储量的研究

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Distribution of biomass in relation to environments in shrublands of temperate China

Xian YANG1, Yan-Pei GUO1, Anwar MOHHAMOT2, Hong-Yan LIU1, Wen-Hong MA3, Shun-Li YU4, Zhi-Yao TANG1,*()   

  1. 1College of Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

    2Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China;

    3College of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China

    4State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
  • Received:2016-06-13 Accepted:2016-06-23 Online:2017-01-10 Published:2017-01-23
  • Contact: Zhi-Yao TANG
  • About author:KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims Shrubland is one of the most widely distributed vegetation types in northern China. Previous studies on pattern and dynamics of plant biomass have been focused on forest and grassland ecosystems, while relevant knowledge on shrubland ecosystems is lacking. It is important to include shrublands in northern China to improve the accuracy in estimating the terrestrial ecosystem biomass in China.
Methods Based on investigations and samplings from 433 shrubland sites, we explored the distribution and allocation patterns of biomass in relation to climatic and soil nutrient factors of shrublands of temperate China.
Important findings The average shrubland biomass density in northern China is 12.5 t·hm-2. It decreases significantly from temperate deciduous shrubland in northeast to desert shrubland in northwest. The average biomass density of temperate deciduous shrubland, alpine shrubland, and desert shrubland is 14.4, 28.8, and 5.0 t·hm-2, respectively. Within temperate deciduous shrublands, plant biomass is lower in North China than in Northeast China. The average aboveground and belowground biomass density of shrub layer is 4.5 and 5.4 t·hm-2, respectively; while that of grass layer is 0.8 and 1.8 t·hm-2, respectively. Environmental factors affect biomass allocation across different plant organs. The belowground-aboveground biomass ratio of shrub exhibits no significant changes with environmental variables. The leaf-stem ratio increases with annual precipitation, and leaf biomass is low in arid region.

Key words: shrubland biome, biomass density, belowground-aboveground biomass ratio, leaf-stem biomass ratio