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Journal of Arid Land  2016, Vol. 8 Issue (3): 422-433    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0002-2
Research Articles     
Effects of grassland management on the community structure, aboveground biomass and stability of a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, China
ZHANG Jinghui, HUANG Yongmei*, CHEN Huiying, GONG Jirui, QI Yu, YANG Fei,
LI Engui
College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China 
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Abstract   community structure responds strongly to anthropogenic disturbances, which greatly influence community stability. The changes in community structure, aboveground biomass (AGB), biodiversity and community stability associated with different management practices were studied with a three-year field investigation in a temperate steppe of Inner Mongolia, China. The species richness, Shannon-Wiener index, evenness, plant functional type abundance, AGB, temporal community stability, summed covariance, scaling coefficient and dominant species stability were compared among areas subjected to long-term reservation (R), long-term grazing (G), mowing since enclosure in 2008 (M) and grazing enclosure since 2008 (E). Site R had higher perennial grass abundance and lower species richness than sites G, M and E, although the AGB was not significantly different among the four sites. The species structure varied from a single dominant species at site R to multiple dominant species at sites G, M and E. The long-term reservation grassland had lower biodiversity but higher stability, whereas the enclosed grassland with/without mowing had higher biodiversity but lower stability. Different stability mechanisms, such as the compensatory dynamics, mean-variance scaling and dominant species stability were examined. Results showed that community stability was most closely related to the relative stability of the dominant species, which supports the biomass ratio hypothesis proposed by Grime.

Key wordsSaharan environment      invasive species      endogenous species      vegetation      soil enrichment     
Received: 30 June 2015      Published: 01 June 2016

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (41030535, 41371069)
The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities and the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT1108)

Corresponding Authors: HUANG Yongmei     E-mail:
Cite this article:

ZHANG Jinghui, HUANG Yongmei, CHEN Huiying, GONG Jirui, QI Yu, YANG Fei, . Effects of grassland management on the community structure, aboveground biomass and stability of a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2016, 8(3): 422-433.

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