iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Controlling soil total nitrogen factors across shrublands in the Three Rivers Source Region of the Tibetan Plateau

Xiuqing Nie (1-2-3), Dong Wang (1-2), Lucun Yang (3-4), Guoying Zhou (3-4)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 13, Issue 6, Pages 559-565 (2020)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3533-013
Published: Nov 29, 2020 - Copyright © 2020 SISEF

Research Articles

Alpine shrublands in the Three Rivers Source Region (TRSR) store substantial soil total nitrogen (N); however, limited information is available regarding its storage and controlling factors. To quantify the storage and controlling factors of soil total N stock, we analysed 66 soil profiles from samples obtained from 22 shrubland sites located across the TRSR on the Tibetan Plateau. Analytical methods, such as ordinary least squares regression, one-way analysis of variance, curve estimation, and variation partitioning were used to evaluate the effects of soil characteristics (soil organic carbon), vegetation characteristics (community types and ground cover of shrublands), climatic factors (mean annual temperature - MAT), and topographical features (slope) on soil N stock. Our results showed that soil N storage at a soil depth interval of 0-100 cm was 63.10 ± 27.41 Tg (Tg = 1012 g), with an average soil N stock of 2.44 ± 1.06 kg m-2 in the TRSR shrublands. Although the type of vegetation community had a small effect on soil N stock, the latter increased with increasing shrubland ground cover and soil organic carbon. However, soil N stock decreased with increasing topographical slope and MAT. Furthermore, changes in MAT primarily affected the N stock of topsoil. Among all the controlling factors, soil organic carbon explained most of the variation in the soil N stock. Considering the effects of global warming, an increase in MAT has decreased the soil N stock. Long-term monitoring of changes in soil N stock should be conducted to improve the precise estimation of soil N storage across the shrublands in the TRSR of the Tibetan Plateau.


Soil N Storage, Ground Cover, SOC, MAT, Alpine Shrublands, Tibetan Plateau

Authors’ address

Xiuqing Nie 0000-0003-1543-9692
Dong Wang
Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of the State Forestry Administration, Research Institute of Forestry Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091 (China)
Xiuqing Nie 0000-0003-1543-9692
Dong Wang
Research Institute of Natural Protected Area, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091 (China)
Xiuqing Nie 0000-0003-1543-9692
Lucun Yang 0000-0003-3952-3039
Guoying Zhou 0000-0003-2485-6172
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Medicine Research, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, Xining 810008 (China)
Lucun Yang 0000-0003-3952-3039
Guoying Zhou 0000-0003-2485-6172
Qinghai Key Laboratory of Qing-Tibet Biological Resources, Xining, 810008 (China)

Corresponding author

Guoying Zhou


Nie X, Wang D, Yang L, Zhou G (2020). Controlling soil total nitrogen factors across shrublands in the Three Rivers Source Region of the Tibetan Plateau. iForest 13: 559-565. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3533-013

Academic Editor

Giorgio Alberti

Paper history

Received: May 22, 2020
Accepted: Sep 20, 2020

First online: Nov 29, 2020
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2020
Publication Time: 2.33 months

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