Grazing buffers the effect of climate change on the species diversity of seedlings in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau

发布时间:2019-03-26 字体大小 T |T

TitleGrazing buffers the effect of climate change on the species diversity of seedlings in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau

Authors: Duobin Wang, Xinyou Wang, Yuan Wu, Huilong Lin*

Journal: Ecology and Evolution

Impact Factor: IF2018=2.340(生物3)

Abstract: Climate change predominated by warming over the past decades has affected plant biodiversity, distribution, and ecosystem functioning in alpine grasslands. Yet, little is known about the interactive effect of climate change and grazing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here, we conducted a vegetation translocation experiment(ten soilvegetation blocks were translocated from highaltitudinal site 3,245 m to lowaltitudinal site 3,045 m) combined with grazing treatment in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that (a) translocation induced effect of climate change from harsh, highaltitudinal site to benign, lowaltitudinal site significantly promoted species richness, and density of asexual and sexual seedling, with an increase in the proportion of asexual recruitment to sexual recruitment; (b) grazing decreased the proportion of asexual seedling to sexual recruitment within community, led to a shift in the dominant plant functional groups from graminoids and legumes to forbs; and (c) grazing partly offset the increased species richness of seedling, but not seedling density, induced by climate change. These findings suggest that moderate grazing may buffer the effect of climate change on the plant community composition, and thus, functional role in alpine meadows. Further understanding the influence of climate change on grassland ecosystems needs to consider the nonadditive effect of grazing and climate change to sustainability of grassland services.

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