Soil Organic Carbon and Its Relationship to Vegetation Communities and Soil Properties in Permafrost Areas of the Central Western Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

Authors

  • Xiaodong Wu,

    1. Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    3. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
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  • Lin Zhao,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    2. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
    • Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
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  • Meijun Chen,

    1. Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China
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  • Hongbing Fang,

    1. Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    3. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
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  • Guangyang Yue,

    1. Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    3. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
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  • Ji Chen,

    1. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Lanzhou, China
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  • Qiangqiang Pang,

    1. Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    3. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
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  • Zhiwei Wang,

    1. Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    3. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
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  • Yongjian Ding

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Lanzhou, China
    • Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
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L. Zhao, Cryosphere Research Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Donggang West Road 320, Lanzhou, China. E-mail: linzhao@lzb.ac.cn; Y. Ding, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Donggang West Road 320, Lanzhou, China. E-mail: dyj@lzb.ac.cn

ABSTRACT

Soil organic carbon (SOC) contents were examined beneath two grassland vegetation communities and cold desert sites in permafrost areas of the central western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Mean SOC stocks in the top 150 cm were 7.73 kg m-2 for Stipa roborowskyi communities and 3.72 kg m-2 for Carex moorcroftii communities, but only 1.84 kg m-2 for cold alpine desert. More than 80 per cent of SOC stocks beneath the grasslands were in the top 100 cm. Correlation analyses showed that SOC stocks in the top 150 cm are linked to soil moisture content, and the vertical distribution of SOC is mainly affected by depth and soil moisture content. Moisture content and vegetation communities are therefore important factors associated with SOC content in this cold, arid area, while active-layer thickness, vegetation cover and topographical factors play non-significant roles in SOC distribution. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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