The role of shrub (Potentilla fruticosa) on ecosystem CO2 fluxes in an alpine shrub meadow
2010 (English)In: Journal of Plant Ecology, ISSN 1752-9921, E-ISSN 1752-993X, Vol. 3, no 2, 89-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aims Recent studies have shown that alpine meadows on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau act as significant CO2 sinks. On the plateau, alpine shrub meadow is one of typical grassland ecosystems. The major alpine shrub on the plateau is Potentilla fruticosa L. (Rosaceae), which is distributed widely from 3 200 to 4 000 m. Shrub species play an important role on carbon sequestration in grassland ecosystems. In addition, alpine shrubs are sensitive to climate change such as global warming. Considering global warming, the biomass and productivity of P. fruticosa will increase on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Thus, understanding the carbon dynamics in alpine shrub meadow and the role of shrubs around the upper distribution limit at present is essential to predict the change in carbon sequestration on the plateau. However, the role of shrubs on the carbon dynamics in alpine shrub meadow remains unclear. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the magnitude of CO2 exchange of P. fruticosa shrub patches around the upper distribution limit and to elucidate the role of P. fruticosa on ecosystem CO2 fluxes in an alpine meadow. Methods We used the static acrylic chamber technique to measure and estimate the net ecosystem productivity (NEP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and gross primary productivity (GPP) of P. fruticosa shrub patches at three elevations around the species' upper distribution limit. Ecosystem CO2 fluxes and environmental factors were measured from 17 to 20 July 2008 at 3 400, 3 600, and 3 800 m a.s.l. We examined the maximum GPP at infinite light (GPP(max)) and maximum R-e (R-emax) during the experimental time at each elevation in relation to aboveground biomass and environmental factors, including air and soil temperature, and soil water content. Important Findings Patches of P. fruticosa around the species' upper distribution limit absorbed CO2, at least during the daytime. Maximum NEP at infinite light (NEPmax) and GPP(max) of shrub patches in the alpine meadow varied among the three elevations, with the highest values at 3 400 m and the lowest at 3 800 m. GPP(max) was positively correlated with the green biomass of P. fruticosa more strongly than with total green biomass, suggesting that P. fruticosa is the major contributor to CO2 uptake in the alpine shrub meadow. Air temperature influenced the potential GPP at the shrub-patch scale. R-max was correlated with aboveground biomass and R-emax normalized by aboveground biomass was influenced by soil water content. Potentilla fruticosa height (biomass) and frequency increased clearly as elevation decreased, which promotes the large-scale spatial variation of carbon uptake and the strength of the carbon sink at lower elevations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 3, no 2, 89-97 p.
alpine meadow, ecosystem respiration, gross primary productivity, net ecosystem productivity, Potentilla fruticosa, shrub patch
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109703DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtq011ISI: 000278732500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-109703DiVA: diva2:858936