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Improved grazing management may increase soil carbon sequestration in temperate steppe.

Chen W, Huang D, Liu N, Zhang Y, Badgery WB, Wang X, Shen Y - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: While deferred grazing (RHM and RMH) sequestered less soil carbon compared to MMM, they showed higher standing root mass, maintained a more desirable pasture composition, and had better ability to retain soil N.Constant high grazing pressure (HHH) caused diminished above- and belowground plant production, more soil N losses and an unfavorable microbial environment and had reduced carbon input.Overall, the soil carbon sequestration in the temperate grassland is affected by the grazing regime that is applied, and grazing can be altered to improve soil carbon sequestration in the temperate steppe.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, West Road 2 Yuan Ming Yuan, Beijing 100193, P.R. China.

ABSTRACT
Different grazing strategies impact grassland plant production and may also regulate the soil carbon formation. For a site in semiarid temperate steppe, we studied the effect of combinations of rest, high and moderate grazing pressure over three stages of the growing season, on the process involved in soil carbon sequestration. Results show that constant moderate grazing (MMM) exhibited the highest root production and turnover accumulating the most soil carbon. While deferred grazing (RHM and RMH) sequestered less soil carbon compared to MMM, they showed higher standing root mass, maintained a more desirable pasture composition, and had better ability to retain soil N. Constant high grazing pressure (HHH) caused diminished above- and belowground plant production, more soil N losses and an unfavorable microbial environment and had reduced carbon input. Reducing grazing pressure in the last grazing stage (HHM) still had a negative impact on soil carbon. Regression analyses show that adjusting stocking rate to ~5SE/ha with ~40% vegetation utilization rate can get the most carbon accrual. Overall, the soil carbon sequestration in the temperate grassland is affected by the grazing regime that is applied, and grazing can be altered to improve soil carbon sequestration in the temperate steppe.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Effects of different grazing regimes on plant aboveground (a–c) and belowground compartments (d–f) measured in 2013. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between regimes are denoted with different lowercase letters. Data are presented as means ± SE.
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f1: Effects of different grazing regimes on plant aboveground (a–c) and belowground compartments (d–f) measured in 2013. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between regimes are denoted with different lowercase letters. Data are presented as means ± SE.

Mentions: Plant aboveground production was significantly influenced by grazing regimes (F4,10 = 46.8, p < 0.05; Fig.1a). The aboveground plant production in the two deferred grazing regimes was similar to that in MMM (Duncan’s multiple-range tests, p > 0.05) but significantly higher than HHH and HHM (p < 0.05; Fig. 1a). Grazing regimes led to strong shifts in plant species richness and vegetation composition as measured in mid-August 2013 (Fig. 1b,c). C3 grasses represented approximately 78–81% of the aboveground biomass in RHM and RMH, and approximately 58% in MMM. The proportion of C3 grasses was only 38–42% in HHH and HHM. The proportion of C3 grasses decreased and the proportion of forbs increased as stocking rates increased (Fig. 2a,b).


Improved grazing management may increase soil carbon sequestration in temperate steppe.

Chen W, Huang D, Liu N, Zhang Y, Badgery WB, Wang X, Shen Y - Sci Rep (2015)

Effects of different grazing regimes on plant aboveground (a–c) and belowground compartments (d–f) measured in 2013. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between regimes are denoted with different lowercase letters. Data are presented as means ± SE.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4490272&req=5

f1: Effects of different grazing regimes on plant aboveground (a–c) and belowground compartments (d–f) measured in 2013. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between regimes are denoted with different lowercase letters. Data are presented as means ± SE.
Mentions: Plant aboveground production was significantly influenced by grazing regimes (F4,10 = 46.8, p < 0.05; Fig.1a). The aboveground plant production in the two deferred grazing regimes was similar to that in MMM (Duncan’s multiple-range tests, p > 0.05) but significantly higher than HHH and HHM (p < 0.05; Fig. 1a). Grazing regimes led to strong shifts in plant species richness and vegetation composition as measured in mid-August 2013 (Fig. 1b,c). C3 grasses represented approximately 78–81% of the aboveground biomass in RHM and RMH, and approximately 58% in MMM. The proportion of C3 grasses was only 38–42% in HHH and HHM. The proportion of C3 grasses decreased and the proportion of forbs increased as stocking rates increased (Fig. 2a,b).

Bottom Line: While deferred grazing (RHM and RMH) sequestered less soil carbon compared to MMM, they showed higher standing root mass, maintained a more desirable pasture composition, and had better ability to retain soil N.Constant high grazing pressure (HHH) caused diminished above- and belowground plant production, more soil N losses and an unfavorable microbial environment and had reduced carbon input.Overall, the soil carbon sequestration in the temperate grassland is affected by the grazing regime that is applied, and grazing can be altered to improve soil carbon sequestration in the temperate steppe.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, West Road 2 Yuan Ming Yuan, Beijing 100193, P.R. China.

ABSTRACT
Different grazing strategies impact grassland plant production and may also regulate the soil carbon formation. For a site in semiarid temperate steppe, we studied the effect of combinations of rest, high and moderate grazing pressure over three stages of the growing season, on the process involved in soil carbon sequestration. Results show that constant moderate grazing (MMM) exhibited the highest root production and turnover accumulating the most soil carbon. While deferred grazing (RHM and RMH) sequestered less soil carbon compared to MMM, they showed higher standing root mass, maintained a more desirable pasture composition, and had better ability to retain soil N. Constant high grazing pressure (HHH) caused diminished above- and belowground plant production, more soil N losses and an unfavorable microbial environment and had reduced carbon input. Reducing grazing pressure in the last grazing stage (HHM) still had a negative impact on soil carbon. Regression analyses show that adjusting stocking rate to ~5SE/ha with ~40% vegetation utilization rate can get the most carbon accrual. Overall, the soil carbon sequestration in the temperate grassland is affected by the grazing regime that is applied, and grazing can be altered to improve soil carbon sequestration in the temperate steppe.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus