J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (3): 271-279.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00617.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Bioenergy Plants • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Growing Season Ecosystem Respirations and Associated Component Fluxes in Two Alpine Meadows on the Tibetan Plateau

Qi-Wu Hu, Qin Wu, Guang-Min Cao, Dong Li, Rui-Jun Long and Yue-Si Wang   

  • Received:2006-11-16 Accepted:2007-05-20

Abstract: From 30 June to 24 September in 2003 ecosystem respiration (Re) in two alpine meadows on the Tibetan Plateau were measured using static chamber- and gas chromatography- (GC) based techniques. Simultaneously, plant removal treatments were set to partition Re into plant autotrophic respiration (Ra) and microbial heterotrophic respiration (Rh). Results indicated that Re had clear diurnal and seasonal variation patterns in both of the meadows. The seasonal variability of Re at both meadow sites was caused mainly by changes in Ra, rather than Rh. Moreover, at the Kobresia humilis meadow site (K_site), Ra and Rh accounted for 54% and 46% of Re, respectively. While at the Potentilla fruticosa scrub meadow (P_site), the counterparts accounted for 61% and 39%, respectively. T test showed that there was significant difference in Re rates between the two meadows (t = 2.387, P = 0.022). However, no significant difference was found in Rh rates, whereas a significant difference was observed in Ra rates between the two meadows. Thus, the difference in Re rate between the two meadows was mainly attributed to plant autotrophic respirations. During the growing season, the two meadows showed relatively low Q10 values, suggesting that Re, especially Rh was not sensitive to temperature variation in the growing season. Additionally, Re and Rh at the K_site, as well as Rh at the P_site was negatively correlated with soil moisture, indicating that soil moisture would also play an important role in respirations.

Key words: ecosystem respiration, heterotrophic respiration, autotrophic respiration, alpine meadow, Q10

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