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Article

Effects of Different Grazing Intensities on Soil C, N, and P in an Alpine Meadow on the Qinghai—Tibetan Plateau, China

by 1,2,†, 1,3,†, 1,†, 1,4,†, 1,5, 6, 1,* and 1,*
1
School of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Biology and Food Engineering, Fuyang Normal University, Fuyang 236037, China
3
Fuzhou Planing Design & Research Institute, Urban Research Center, Fuzhou 350108, China
4
Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
5
Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
6
School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2584; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15112584
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
Inappropriate grazing management is one of the most common causes of grassland degradation, and thus, an assessment of soil properties under different grazing intensities is critical for understanding its effects on ecosystem nutrient cycling and for formulating appropriate management strategies. However, the responses of certain main elements, including soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, to grazing in alpine meadow ecosystems remain insufficiently clarified. Here, we measured carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus contents in the topmost 30 cm of soil in an alpine meadow under three grazing intensities (light, moderate, and heavy) and found clear differences in soil physical and chemical properties among different grazing intensities and soil layers. As grazing intensity increased, soil water content, carbon and nitrogen contents and stocks, and carbon to phosphorus and nitrogen to phosphorus ratios decreased, whereas soil bulk density increased. However, soil phosphorus and carbon to nitrogen ratio remained stable. Our findings highlight the negative impacts of heavy grazing intensity, in terms of soil carbon and nitrogen loss and phosphorus mineralization. Moreover, we emphasize that further related studies are necessary to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of grazing on grassland ecosystems, and thereby provide information for sustainable management practices and eco-compensation policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: alpine meadow; grazing intensity; soil carbon; soil nitrogen; soil phosphorus alpine meadow; grazing intensity; soil carbon; soil nitrogen; soil phosphorus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, G.; Zhang, Z.; Shi, L.; Zhou, Y.; Yang, M.; Cao, J.; Wu, S.; Lei, G. Effects of Different Grazing Intensities on Soil C, N, and P in an Alpine Meadow on the Qinghai—Tibetan Plateau, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2584. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15112584

AMA Style

Li G, Zhang Z, Shi L, Zhou Y, Yang M, Cao J, Wu S, Lei G. Effects of Different Grazing Intensities on Soil C, N, and P in an Alpine Meadow on the Qinghai—Tibetan Plateau, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(11):2584. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15112584

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Gang, Zhi Zhang, Linlu Shi, Yan Zhou, Meng Yang, Jiaxi Cao, Shuhong Wu, and Guangchun Lei. 2018. "Effects of Different Grazing Intensities on Soil C, N, and P in an Alpine Meadow on the Qinghai—Tibetan Plateau, China" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15, no. 11: 2584. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15112584

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