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Biomass allocation and productivity–richness relationship across four grassland types at the Qinghai Plateau


Dai, Licong et al. (2020), Biomass allocation and productivity–richness relationship across four grassland types at the Qinghai Plateau, Dryad, Dataset,


Aboveground biomass (AGB) and belowground biomass (BGB) allocation and productivity–richness relationship are controversial. Here, we assessed AGB and BGB allocation and the productivity–richness relationship at community level across four grassland types based on the biomass data collected from 80 sites across the Qinghai Plateau during 2011–2012. The reduced major axis regression and general linear models were used and showed that (1) the median values of AGB were significantly higher in alpine meadow than in other three grassland types; the ratio of root to shoot (R/S) was significantly higher in desert grassland (36.06) than intemperate grassland (16.60), alpine meadow (13.35) and meadow steppe (19.46). The temperate grassland had deeper root distribution than the other three grasslands, with about 91.45% roots distributed in the top 30 cm soil layer. (2) The slopes between log AGB and log BGB in the temperate grassland and meadow steppe were 1.09 and 1, respectively, whereas that in the desert grassland was 1.12, which was significantly different from the isometric allocation relationship. A competitive relationship between AGB and BGB was observed in the alpine meadow with a slope of −1.83, indicating a trade-off between AGB and BGB in the alpine meadow. (3) A positive productivity–richness relationship existed across the four grassland types, suggesting that the positive productivity–richness relationship might not be affected by the environmental factors at the plant location. Our results provide a new insight for biomass allocation and biodiversity–ecosystem functioning research.


We harvested the AGB and BGB across 80 sites on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau once during summer (July to September) in 2011 and 2012. Five quadrats of 0.25 m2 (0.5 × 0.5 m) were sampled in the alpine meadow at each site (100 × 10 m) due to the abundant AGB in alpine meadow, and five quadrats of 1 m2 (1 ×1m) were sampled in the temperate grassland, desert grassland, and meadow steppe at each site.

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National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41730752, 31700395, 31770532 and 31400483

Comprehensive management and application demonstration of small watershed in Hainan prefecture, Award: 2019-SF-152