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Aboveground biomass in Tibetan grasslands

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Yang, Y.H.; Fang, J.Y.; Pan, Y.D.; Ji, C.J.

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Journal of Arid Environments. 73: 91-95.


This study investigated spatial patterns and environmental controls of aboveground biomass (AGB) in alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau by integrating AGB data collected from 135 sites during 2001-2004 and concurrent enhanced vegetation index derived from MODIS data sets. The AGB was estimated at 68.8 gm-2, with a larger value (90.8 gm-2) in alpine meadow than in alpine steppe (50.1 gm-2). It increased with growing season precipitation (GSP), but did not show a significant overall trend with growing season temperature (GST) although it was negatively correlated with GST at dry environments (<200 mm of GSP). Soil texture also influenced AGB, but the effect was coupled with precipitation; increased silt content caused a decrease of AGB at small GSP, and generated a meaningful increase under humid conditions. The correlation between AGB and sand content indicated an opposite trend with that between AGB and silt content. An analysis of general linear model depicted that precipitation, temperature, and soil texture together explained 54.2% of total variance in AGB. Our results suggest that moisture availability is a critical control of plant production, but temperature and soil texture also affect vegetation growth in high-altitude regions.


aboveground biomass; alpine grasslands; enhanced vegetation index; environmental control; precipitation; soil texture; temperature; Tibetan Plateau


Yang, Y.H.; Fang, J.Y.; Pan, Y.D.; Ji, C.J. 2009. Aboveground biomass in Tibetan grasslands. Journal of Arid Environments. 73: 91-95.

Last updated on: February 10, 2009