African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Soil water soluble organic carbon under three alpine grassland types in Northern Tibet, China

Xuyang Lu1,2*, Jihui Fan1, Yan Yan2 and Xiaodan Wang1,2
1Key Laboratory of Mountain Environment Evolvement and Regulation, IMHE, CAS, Chengdu 610041, China. 2Shenzha Alpine Steppe and Wetland Ecosystem Observation and Experiment Station, IMHE, CAS, Shenzha 853100, China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 05 April 2011
  •  Published: 04 May 2011

Abstract

Water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) is the most mobile and reactive soil carbon sourceavailable. It plays an important role in many biogeochemical processes. In this study, we assessed WSOC in the upper 0 to 15 cm soil layer, during the growing season of three representative alpine grassland types of Northern Tibet, with an average elevation of over 4500 m. We also evaluated the contributions of soil environmental factors on the three types of grassland. We found that the WSOC was typically higher at the first sampling in May and decreased with subsequent samples. Furthermore, over the short growing season, the alpine meadow steppe ecosystem had significantly higher WSOC content than the alpine meadow and alpine steppe ecosystems. Soil WSOC of alpine grasslands also negatively correlated with both soil temperature and moisture. These results indicated that soil WSOC is considerably different among the different types of grassland in the same alpine area, and we conclude that soil environmental conditions including soil temperature and moisture are important influencing factors that control soil WSOC content.

 

Key words: Water soluble organic carbon, soil temperature, soil moisture, alpine grassland, Northern Tibet.