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Journal of Arid Land  2019, Vol. 11 Issue (3): 431-445    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0009-6
Leaf gas exchange and photosynthesis curves of Elymus nutans and Potentilla anserina under fencing and grazing conditions in the Qilian Mountains, Northwest China
Junjie LIU1, Xiaoping WANG2, Yunfei GAO1, Zhanlei RONG1, Guangde ZHANG1, Wenbin WANG1, Lijuan GE1, Yahua MAO1, Zhaoxia GUO1, Chuanyan ZHAO1,*()
1 State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
2 Institute of Arid Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Lanzhou 730020, China
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Potentilla anserina L. and Elymus nutans Griseb. are dominant species in the subalpine meadows of China. Grazing is one of the most important factors that influence community structure and productivity of subalpine meadows. Understanding how grazing changes photosynthetic capability is essential for preservation and restoration of grasslands. However, information about the effects of grazing on photosynthetic capability remains inadequate. Experiments were conducted in fencing and grazing areas in the Qilian Mountains, Northwest China. The leaf gas exchange and photosynthetic curves of P. anserina and E. nutans were measured at different growth stages. Results showed that grazing decreased the values of leaf gas exchange parameters, such as net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, and intercellular CO2 concentration of P. anserina and E. nutans. In addition, grazing decreased the values of net photosynthetic rate-photosynthetically active radiation (PN-PAR) curve parameters, such as light-saturated net photosynthetic rate, apparent quantum efficiency, light compensation point, light saturation point, and dark respiration rate. Our results demonstrated that grazing was the primary limiting factor for photosynthesis of dominant grassland species in the study area.

Key wordsgrazing      diurnal variation      gas exchange      Potentilla anserina      Elymus nutans      photosynthetic capacity     
Received: 04 November 2017      Published: 10 June 2019
Corresponding Authors: Chuanyan ZHAO     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Junjie LIU, Xiaoping WANG, Yunfei GAO, Zhanlei RONG, Guangde ZHANG, Wenbin WANG, Lijuan GE, Yahua MAO, Zhaoxia GUO, Chuanyan ZHAO. Leaf gas exchange and photosynthesis curves of Elymus nutans and Potentilla anserina under fencing and grazing conditions in the Qilian Mountains, Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(3): 431-445.

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