Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2022, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (5): 539-551.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0237

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Latitudinal patterns and underlying factors of component biomass in plant communities in the arid valley of southwest China

WANG Zi-Long1,2, HU Bin1, BAO Wei-Kai1, LI Fang-Lan1,*(), HU Hui1,2, WEI Dan-Dan1,2, YANG Ting-Hui1,2, LI Xiao-Juan1,2   

  1. 1CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization, Ecological Restoration and Biodiversity, Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-06-26 Accepted:2021-10-13 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2021-12-16
  • Contact: LI Fang-Lan
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFC0505105);Special Foundation for National Science and Technology Basic Resources Investigation of China(2019FY202300)


Aims The study of the pattern of biomass variations and their drivers along environmental gradients commonly contributes to the understanding of plant’s adaptability to environmental changes, further explains the spatial differences in vegetation and ecosystem processes. We investigated the biomass latitudinal patterns of plant communities and its components and revealed the quantitative relationships of biomass with climatic, soil and community structure as well as species diversity.

Methods In order to analyze the variation patterns of biomass along the latitude gradient and the drivers, we set up a total of 101 plots (4 m × 6 m) across nine region along latitude in the arid valley of southwest China (23.23°-32.26° N), to investigate biomass and species composition of plant communities and its components.

Important findings In the arid valley, the average biomass of community was (17.05 ± 1.09) t·hm-2, of which the average biomass of shrub, herb and litter were (11.51 ± 1.03), (2.11 ± 0.21) and (3.41 ± 0.34) t·hm-2, respectively, with each of them accounting for 60.2%, 15.6%, and 24.1% of the community biomass. With the increase of latitude, community biomass increased significantly. Shrub biomass and their proportion also increased significantly, herb biomass and their proportion remained consistent, whereas litter biomass decreased significantly. The changes of shrub dominance and abundance were the main internal factor for vegetation biomass variation along the latitude gradient. Additionally, compared with soil factors, climatic factors had a more significant impact on the biomass changes of communities and its components.

Key words: biomass, latitude, community, environment factor, arid valley