Abstract: Litter decomposition is an important component of the nutrient recycling process and is highly sensitive to climate change. However, the impacts of warming and increased precipitation on litter decomposition have not been well studied, especially in the alpine grassland of Tianshan Mountains. We conducted a manipulative warming and increased precipitation experiment combined with different grassland types to examine the impact of litter quality and climate change on the litter decomposition rate based on three dominant species (Astragalus mongholicus, Potentilla anserina, and Festuca ovina) in Tianshan Mountains from 2019 to 2021. The results of this study indicated there were significant differences in litter quality, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content. In addition, litter quality exerted significant effects on litter decomposition, and the litter decomposition rate varied in different grassland types. Increased precipitation significantly accelerated the litter decomposition of P. anserina; however, it had no significant effect on the litter decomposition of A. mongholicus and F. ovina. However, warming consistently decreased the litter decomposition rate, with the strongest impact on the litter decomposition of F. ovina. There was a significant interaction between increased precipitation and litter type, but there was no significant interaction between warming and litter type. These results indicated that warming and increased precipitation significantly influenced litter decomposition; however, the strength was dependent on litter quality. In addition, soil water content played a crucial role in regulating litter decomposition in different grassland types. Moreover, we found that the litter decomposition rate exhibited a hump-shaped or linear response to the increase of soil water content. Our study emphasizes that ongoing climate change significantly altered litter decomposition in the alpine grassland, which is of great significance for understanding the nutrient supply and turnover of litter.
摘要：Nitrogen (N) addition has profound impacts on litter-mediated nutrient cycling. Numerous studies have reported different effects of N addition on litter decomposition, exhibiting positive, negative, or neutral effects. Previous meta-analysis of litter decomposition under N addition was mainly based on a small number of samples to allow comparisons among ecosystem types. This study presents the results of a meta-analysis incorporating data from 53 published studies (including 617 observations) across forests, grasslands, wetlands, and croplands in China, to investigate how environmental and experimental factors impact the effects of N addition on litter decomposition. Averaged across all of the studies, N addition significantly slows litter decomposition by 7.02%. Considering ecosystem types, N addition significantly accelerates litter decomposition by 3.70% and 11.22% in grasslands and wetlands, respectively, clearly inhibits litter decomposition by 14.53% in forests, and has no significant effects on litter decomposition in croplands. Regarding the accelerated litter decomposition rate in grasslands due to N addition, litter decomposition rate increases slightly with increasing rates of N addition. However, N addition slows litter decomposition in forests, but litter decomposition is at a significantly increasing rate with increasing amounts of N addition. The responses of litter decomposition to N addition are also influenced by the forms of N addition, experiential duration of N addition, humidity index, litter quality, and soil pH. In summary, N addition alters litter decomposition rate, but the direction and magnitude of the response are affected by the forms of N addition, the rate of N addition, ambient N deposition, experimental duration, and climate factors. Our study highlights the contrasting effects of N addition on litter decomposition in forests and grasslands. This finding could be used in biogeochemical models to better evaluate ecosystem carbon cycling under increasing N deposition due to the differential responses of litter decomposition to N addition rates and ecosystem types.
摘要： The gradual shrinkage of the Aral Sea has led to not only the degradation of the unique environments of the Aral Sea, but also numerous and fast developing succession processes in the neighborhood habitats surrounding the sea. In this study, we investigated the vegetative succession processes related to the Aral Sea shrinkage in the Eastern Cliff of the Ustyurt Plateau in Republic of Uzbekistan, Central Asia. We compared the results of our current investigation (2010–2017) on vegetative communities with the geobotany data collected during the 1970s (1970–1980). The results showed great changes in the mesophytic plant communities and habitat aridization as a result of the drop in the underground water level, which decreased atmospheric humidity and increased the salt content of the soil caused by the shrinkage of the Aral Sea. In the vegetative communities, we observed a decrease in the Margalef index (DMg), which had a positive correlation with the poly-dominance index (I-D). The main indications of the plant communities' transformation were the loss of the weak species, the appearance of new communities with low species diversity, the stabilization of the projective cover of former resistant communities, as well as the appearance of a new competitive species, which occupy new habitats.