LIU Guodong, SUN Jinfang, TIAN Kun, YUAN Xingzhong, AN Subang, WANG Hang. Litter Decomposition of Emergent Plants along an Elevation Gradient in Wetlands of Yunnan Plateau, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2017, 27(5): 760-771. doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0898-2
Citation: LIU Guodong, SUN Jinfang, TIAN Kun, YUAN Xingzhong, AN Subang, WANG Hang. Litter Decomposition of Emergent Plants along an Elevation Gradient in Wetlands of Yunnan Plateau, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2017, 27(5): 760-771. doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0898-2

Litter Decomposition of Emergent Plants along an Elevation Gradient in Wetlands of Yunnan Plateau, China

doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0898-2
Funds:  Under the auspices of Special Projects of National Key Basic Research Program of China (No.2012CB426509),National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.40971285,31370497,31500409),Yunnan Innovation Talents of Science and Technology Plan of China (No.2012HC007)
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  • Corresponding author: LIU Guodong,E-mail:lgd102378@163.com;TIAN Kun,E-mail:tlkunp@126.com
  • Received Date: 2016-05-09
  • Rev Recd Date: 2016-09-21
  • Publish Date: 2017-10-27
  • The decomposition of plant litter is a key process in the flows of energy and nutrients in ecosystems. However, the response of litter decomposition to global climate warming in plateau wetlands remains largely unknown. In this study, we conducted a one-year litter decomposition experiment along an elevation gradient from 1891 m to 3260 m on the Yunnan Plateau of Southwest China, using different litter types to determine the influences of climate change, litter quality and microenvironment on the decomposition rate. The results showed that the average decomposition rate (K) increased from 0.608 to 1.152, and the temperature sensitivity of litter mass losses was approximately 4.98%/℃ along the declining elevation gradient. Based on a correlation analysis, N concentrations and C︰N ratios in the litter were the best predictors of the decomposition rate, with significantly positive and negative correlations, respectively. Additionally, the cumulative effects of decomposition were clearly observed in the mixtures of Scirpus tabernaemontani and Zizania caduciflora. Moreover, the litter decomposition rate in the water was higher than that in the sediment, especially in high-elevation areas where the microenvironment was significantly affected by temperature. These results suggest that future climate warming will have significant impacts on plateau wetlands, which have important functions in biogeochemical cycling in cold highland ecosystems.
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Litter Decomposition of Emergent Plants along an Elevation Gradient in Wetlands of Yunnan Plateau, China

doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0898-2
Funds:  Under the auspices of Special Projects of National Key Basic Research Program of China (No.2012CB426509),National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.40971285,31370497,31500409),Yunnan Innovation Talents of Science and Technology Plan of China (No.2012HC007)
    Corresponding author: LIU Guodong,E-mail:lgd102378@163.com;TIAN Kun,E-mail:tlkunp@126.com

Abstract: The decomposition of plant litter is a key process in the flows of energy and nutrients in ecosystems. However, the response of litter decomposition to global climate warming in plateau wetlands remains largely unknown. In this study, we conducted a one-year litter decomposition experiment along an elevation gradient from 1891 m to 3260 m on the Yunnan Plateau of Southwest China, using different litter types to determine the influences of climate change, litter quality and microenvironment on the decomposition rate. The results showed that the average decomposition rate (K) increased from 0.608 to 1.152, and the temperature sensitivity of litter mass losses was approximately 4.98%/℃ along the declining elevation gradient. Based on a correlation analysis, N concentrations and C︰N ratios in the litter were the best predictors of the decomposition rate, with significantly positive and negative correlations, respectively. Additionally, the cumulative effects of decomposition were clearly observed in the mixtures of Scirpus tabernaemontani and Zizania caduciflora. Moreover, the litter decomposition rate in the water was higher than that in the sediment, especially in high-elevation areas where the microenvironment was significantly affected by temperature. These results suggest that future climate warming will have significant impacts on plateau wetlands, which have important functions in biogeochemical cycling in cold highland ecosystems.

LIU Guodong, SUN Jinfang, TIAN Kun, YUAN Xingzhong, AN Subang, WANG Hang. Litter Decomposition of Emergent Plants along an Elevation Gradient in Wetlands of Yunnan Plateau, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2017, 27(5): 760-771. doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0898-2
Citation: LIU Guodong, SUN Jinfang, TIAN Kun, YUAN Xingzhong, AN Subang, WANG Hang. Litter Decomposition of Emergent Plants along an Elevation Gradient in Wetlands of Yunnan Plateau, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2017, 27(5): 760-771. doi: 10.1007/s11769-017-0898-2
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