Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (9): 867-877.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0083

Special Issue: 青藏高原植物生态学:生态系统生态学

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of clipping and fertilizing on the relationship between functional diversity and aboveground net primary productivity in an alpine meadow

PAN Shi-Yu1, KONG Bin-Bin1, YAO Tian-Hua1, WEI Xin-Hua1, LI Ying-Nian2, ZHU Zhi-Hong1,*()   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
    2Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, China
  • Received:2015-05-25 Accepted:2015-08-13 Online:2015-09-03 Published:2015-09-23
  • Contact: Zhi-Hong ZHU
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Abstract: <i>Aims</i>

Much attention has been paid for the relationship between species diversity (SD) and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). However, the effect of functional diversity (FD) on ANPP was more straightforward. Most researchers considered SD or FD as an independent variable to study the relationship between biodiversity and ANPP. In fact, the relationship may be affected by abiotic factors. Our objective was to study how different disturbance factors affect the relationship of FD-ANPP.


The experiment was conducted in the alpine Kobresia humilis meadow at Haibei Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences with clipping (unclipping, stubbled 3 cm and 1 cm) and fertilizing (12.75 g·m-2·a-1 urea + 3.06 g·m-2·a-1 (NH4)2HPO4) treatments from 2007 to 2013. General linear model univariate ANOVA, regression analysis and ANCOVA were used for studying the effects of clipping, fertilizing, year and their interaction on ANPP and FD and the change of relationship of FD-ANPP.

<i>Important findings</i>

ANPP was enhanced by increasing clipping intensity and soil nutrient extremely significantly (p < 0.01). However, the effect extent was different in each year. ANPP presented a fluctuant downward trend year-to-year while FD increased along time. FD was increased by fertilizing significantly (p < 0.05), while the effect of clipping on FD was not significant (p > 0.05). Under the six kinds of treatment combinations of clipping and fertilizing, the relationship of FD-ANPP presented two patterns including linear positive correlation and no correlation mainly depending on clipping. No matter the community was fertilized or not, in the unclipped community, FD showed no correlation with ANPP (n = 90, p > 0.05). However, in the clipped community, clipping increased FD and ANPP in the same time, which facilitated them showing linear positive correlation. Fertilizing cannot affect the pattern of relationship of FD-ANPP, but the slope and intercept of equations of relationship were influenced by fertilizing and clipping. The results suggested that the relationship of FD-ANPP was influenced by clipping and fertilizing jointly, while clipping plays a leading role in changing their relationship patterns.

Key words: functional diversity, aboveground net primary productivity, clipping, fertilizing