PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (12): 1724-1731.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.12.019

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Review of Researches on Biomass Carbon Stock in Grassland Ecosystem of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

GAO Tian1, XU Tian1, YANG Xiuchun1,2, JIN Yunxiang1, MA Hailong1, LI Jinya1, YU Haida1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Agri-informatics of the Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Plan-ning, CAAS, Beijing 100081, China;
    2. Institute of FarmlandWater Conservancy and Soil-fertilizer, Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Reclamation Science, Shihhotze, 832000, China
  • Received:2012-05-01 Revised:2012-07-01 Online:2012-12-25 Published:2012-12-25

Abstract: It is critical to know Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau’s grassland biomass carbon(C) stock and its dynamics in order to study the regional C cycle and sustainable use of grassland resources. After reviewing the publications, the authors present a summary of methods and results in the studies of biomass C stock in grassland ecosystem of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. (1) Four methods are mainly used in this field: searching in literature and documents, field measurement, remote sensing of vegetation/vegetation indices, and process modeling. In the practice, methods of estimation, quality standards for sample collection, and underground biomass estimation are the most important factors impacting the results. (2) According to the published literature, biomass C density of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau’s grasslands is approximately 223g/m2, and can be translated to a total grassland biomass C stock of 277 Tg C (1Tg=1012g). (3) The estimation results based on remote sensing indicate that the biomass C stock of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau’s grasslands increased over the past 20 years, suggesting that alpine grasslands might have functioned as a biomass C sink. (4) The above ground biomass C stock of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau’s grasslands is strongly affected by precipitations, while the role of temperature is unclear. In addition, human activities are considered to be a crucial factor affecting grassland biomass C stock as well. Problems remain in the studies of biomass C stock in grassland ecosystem of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; more thorough investigations are needed in the fields such as data acquirement in the basic field measurements, optimization of algorithms for remotely-sensed vegetation indices, and process modeling of carbon- nitrogen- water coupling cycle in the alpine ecosystem.

Key words: alpine grasslands, biomass C stock, C sink, climatic change, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau