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Journal of Arid Land  2014, Vol. 6 Issue (6): 725-734    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0027-3
Research Articles     
Carbon fixation and its influence factors of biological soil crusts in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert, northern China
Lei HUANG1,2*, ZhiShan ZHANG1,2, XinRong LI1,2
1 Shapotou Desert Research and Experimental Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an important type of land cover in arid desert landscapes and play an important role in the carbon source-sink exchange within a desert system. In this study, two typical BSCs, moss crusts and algae crusts, were selected from a revegetated sandy area of the Tengger Desert in northern China, and the experiment was carried out over a 3 year period from January 2010 to November 2012. We obtained the effective active wetting time to maintain the physiological activity of BSCs based on the continuous field measurements and previous laboratory studies on BSCs photosynthesis and respiration rates. And then we developed a BSCs carbon fixation model that is driven by soil moisture. The results indicated that moss crusts and algae crusts had significant effects on soil moisture and temperature dynamics by decreasing rainfall infiltration. The mean carbon fixation rates of moss and algae crusts were 0.21 and 0.13 g C/(m2•d), respectively. The annual carbon fixations of moss crusts and algae crusts were 64.9 and 38.6 g C/(m2•a), respectively, and the carbon fixation of non-rainfall water reached 11.6 g C/(m2•a) (30.2% of the total) and 8.8 g C/(m2•a) (43.6% of the total), respectively. Finally, the model was tested and verified with continuous field observations. The data of the modeled and measured CO2 fluxes matched notably well. In desert regions, the carbon fixation is higher with high-frequency rainfall even the total amount of seasonal rainfall was the same.

Key wordsarid areas      classifications      climate zoning      factor-cluster analysis     
Received: 07 November 2013      Published: 10 December 2014

This work was supported by the Innovation Project from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX2-EW-301-3), the National Key Basic Research Program (2013CB429905) and the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (41201084; 31170385).

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Lei HUANG, ZhiShan ZHANG, XinRong LI. Carbon fixation and its influence factors of biological soil crusts in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert, northern China. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(6): 725-734.

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