Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (7): 779-786.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019405

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of mowing intensity on temporal stability of aboveground biomass in the Stipa grandis steppe

Feng Zhang, Jiahua Zheng, Mengli Zhao*(), Daling Chen, Yang Yang, Jirong Qiao, Tianqi Zhao   

  1. College of Grassland, Resource and Environment, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010019
  • Received:2019-12-23 Accepted:2020-07-02 Online:2020-07-20 Published:2020-09-29
  • Contact: Mengli Zhao

Abstract:

We conducted a mowing experiment between 2014 and 2018 to test the effects of different mowing intensity on the temporal stability of aboveground biomass in the Stipa grandis typical steppe in Inner Mongolia. Four mowing treatments were tested: enclosure (CK, no mowing), light mowing (stubble 8 cm), moderate mowing (stubble 5 cm) and heavy mowing (stubble 2 cm). We found that mowing had no significant effect on the temporal stability of the community compared with the enclosure, but it had a significant impact on the mean temporal stability of species. Under heavy mowing the mean temporal stability of species significantly decreased, and there was no significant correlation between the mean temporal stability of species and the temporal stability of community, indicating that these fluctuated independently. Compared with the enclosure (CK), species richness under heavy mowing reduced significantly, but had no significant correlation with community temporal stability, indicating that species richness was not the dominant factor in the temporal stability of community. In addition, the community resistance reduced significantly under heavy mowing but it also had no significant correlation with the temporal stability of the community. We found that there was a very significantly positive correlation between asynchrony and community temporal stability, but that mowing had no significant effect on asynchrony, so it did not cause significant changes in community stability. Therefore, asynchrony may be one of the dominant effects on the temporal stability of the community. In the process of grassland management and utilization, the stability of grassland could be evaluated from the perspective of species asynchrony.

Key words: temporal stability, asynchrony, functional groups, mowing, stubble height, resistance