JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2011, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 401-411.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2011.03.006

• Special Column:Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of IGSNRR, CAS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Grassland Vegetation and Soil Carbon Sequestration in the Loess Plateau

CHENG Ji-min1,2, CHENG Jie2, YANG Xiao-mei1   

  1. 1. College of Animal Sciences of Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
  • Received:2010-06-08 Revised:2010-09-21 Online:2011-03-20 Published:2011-03-20

Abstract: The features of biomass and carbon sequestration were studied based on multi-point transect survey and combined with positioning monitoring methods for different type of grasslands from southeast to northwest in the Loess Plateau. The data were obtained for the pre- and post- 11-year fencing. Results showed that carbon density and storage were decreased from southeast to northwest with an exponentially trend among four-type grasslands. In each type of grassland (aboveground living plants, litter/underground of soil root and soil), the characteristics of distribution of carbon density and storage presented a tendency: forest steppe>plateau steppe>hilly steppe>desert steppe. Grassland carbon density and storage, which included living plants, litter, 0-100cm depth of soil root and soil, were 63.38-97.65 t·hm-2 and 230.2877 Tg C for forest steppe, 49.04-68.80 t·hm-2 and 332.3067 Tg C for plateau steppe, 52.33-62.11 t·hm-2 and 484.0555 Tg C for hilly steppe and 11.93-19.62 t·hm-2 and 113.8563 Tg C for desert steppe respectively, after 11-year fencing. The total carbon sequestration of grasslands was 573.10 Tg C after 11-year fencing on the Loess Plateau. Among which, living plant was 42.89 Tg C (7.48% of the total carbon sequestration), litter was 80.40 Tg C (14.03%), living root was 108.66 Tg C (18.96%), and soil was 341.15 Tg C (59.53%). In conclusion, our results demonstrated that grassland fencing can not only restore vegetation and increase biomass, but can also significantly improve grassland carbon sequestration potential.

Key words: Loess Plateau, natural grassland, carbon sequestration, carbon density

CLC Number: 

  • Q948.15