Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 713-726.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.06.011

Special Issue: 青藏高原植物生态学:植物-土壤-微生物

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Review of research advances in soil respiration of grassland in China

BAO Fang1,2, ZHOU Guang-Sheng3,1,*()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2009-05-07 Accepted:2010-03-24 Online:2010-05-07 Published:2010-06-01
  • Contact: ZHOU Guang-Sheng


Grasslands in China cover vast, continuous areas and account for about 40% of Chinese land area. Most are located in the eco-geographical fragile region, are sensitive to climate change, and play important roles in regulating the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. Our objective was to review recent studies on soil respiration of grassland in China. Most studies were conducted in Northeast Plain, Inner Mongolia and Tibetan Plateau. Diurnal dynamics of soil respiration are controlled by temperature, seasonal patterns are controlled by temperature and/or water depending on the limiting environmental factors, and inter-annual variability is mainly determined by water. In addition, there is great spatial heterogeneity driven by mean annual precipitation and soil total nitrogen content. Responses of soil respiration to global changes were complicated and depended on the interaction of each factor. Most recent soil respiration models failed to incorporate the modulation of soil and biotic factors and their interaction. Key issues and suggested future research topics are 1) soil respiration in temperate desert grassland, 2) soil respiration during non-growing season, 3) comparison study of grassland soil respiration on different spatial and temporal scales, 4) simulation study of grassland soil respiration and 5) remote sensing of grassland soil respiration.

Key words: driving factors, grassland in China, simulation model, soil respiration, spatio-temporal variation