Relationships of biomass with environmental factors in the grassland area of Hulunbuir, China

PloS One
Miao LiuJian Sun

Abstract

Many studies have focused on the relationship between vegetation biomass and environmental factors in grassland. However, several questions remain to be answered, especially with regards to the spatial pattern of vegetation biomass. Thus, the distributed mechanism will be explored in the present study. Here, plant biomass was measured at 23 sites along a transect survey during the peak growing season in 2006. The data were analyzed with a classification and regression tree (CART) model. The structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to explicitly evaluate the both direct and indirect effects of these critical environmental elements on vegetation biomass. The results demonstrated that mean annual temperature (MAT) affected aboveground biomass (AGB) scored at -0.811 (P<0.05). The direct effect of MAT on belowground biomass (BGB) was -0.490 (P<0.05). The results were determined by SEM. Our results indicate that AGB and BGB in semi-arid ecosystems is strongly affected by precipitation and temperature. Future work shall attempt to take into account the integrated effects of precipitation and temperature. Meanwhile, partitioning the influences of environmental variations and vegetation types are helpful in illuminating the inte...Continue Reading

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