Biodiversity Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (6): 639-650.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.12134

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

China grassland biodiversity monitoring network: indicators and implementation plan

Hongwei Wan, Qingmin Pan, Yongfei Bai*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2013-06-02 Accepted:2013-11-20 Online:2013-12-02
  • Bai Yongfei

A biodiversity monitoring network is fundamental to biodiversity research and successful conservation practice. Many developed countries have established national or even continental scale biodiversity monitoring networks, covering a wide range of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. In China, the only biodiversity monitoring network that currently exists is the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio,, which was founded in 2004. Grassland ecosystems, which cover 41.7% of the total land area of China, are most sensitive to environmental changes and have long been subject to overgrazing and other human disturbances, resulting in widespread deterioration of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is essential, therefore, to establish a Chinese grassland biodiversity monitoring network to investigate the current status of Chinese grasslands, the pressure and/or drivers of changes in biodiversity, and to provide guidance on their restoration and conservation practices. Based on the successful experiences of other international biodiversity monitoring networks and the natural grassland conditions in China, we propose a national grassland biodiversity monitoring and research network, which includes the overarching objectives and scientific questions, indicators, methodology issues, and a case study in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

Key words: grassland ecosystem, biodiversity monitoring and research network, indicators, methodology

Table 1

Indicators of China grassland biodiversity monitoring, their measurement scale and sources"

Spatial scale/level
1 植物群落的物种组成
Species composition of plant community
植物物种名录 Plant species list 野外观测(样方)
Field observation (quadrats)
Plot (1 ha) and landscape (25 ha)
2 植物物种多度 Abundance 物种的地上生物量和个体密度
Aboveground biomass and species density
3 植物群落的盖度 Coverage 冠层盖度 Canopy coverage 景观尺度 Landscape
4 种-面积关系
Species-area relationship
物种名录 Species list 野外观测 Field observation 样地尺度
5 物种的点格局分析
Point pattern analysis
个体的空间位置 Position of individuals 野外观测 Field observation 样地尺度
6 植物功能性状
Plant functional traits
Height, leaf stem ratio, specific leaf area, leaf weight, leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen content, and leaf phosphorus content
Field sampling and laboratory analysis
生长型、生活史策略、光合途径、固氮能力、克隆生长特性、根系结构和子叶类型 Growth form, life history strategies, photosynthetic pathways, nitrogen fixation ability, clonal growth characteristics, root structure and cotyledon types 文献检索 Literature 物种水平
7 植物种库 Plant species pool 物种名录 Species list 野外观测(样带)
Field observations (transects)
8 植物多样性 Plant diversity α、β、γ多样性, 物种丰富度、物种均匀度、物种多样性、功能多样性、谱系多样性
α, β, γ diversity, species richness, species evenness, species diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity
基于本表1、2、6、7项计算获得 Calculated based on parameters 1, 2, 6, 7 样地、景观、区域到国家尺度
Plot, landscape, regional to national
9 哺乳动物多样性
Mammal diversity
Presence or absence of rare and endangered species
社会调研 Social investigation 区域尺度
10 微生物多样性
Microbial diversity
分类操作单元 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) 野外取样和室内分析
Field sampling and laboratory analysis
样地尺度 Plot
11 昆虫多样性 Insect diversity 种数和个体数 Number of species and individuals 野外取样和室内分析
Field sampling and laboratory analysis
样地尺度 Plot
12 鸟类的多样性 Bird diversity 种数和个体数 Number of species and individuals 野外观测 Field observation 景观尺度
13 蝴蝶的多样性
Butterfly diversity
种数和个体数 Number of species and individuals 野外观测 Field observation 景观尺度
14 蝗灾的状况 Locust outbreak 蝗虫个体的数量 Number of locust individuals 野外观测 Field observation 样地尺度 Plot
15 鼠害的状况 Rodent damage 鼠洞和土丘的密度 Density of rat holes and mounds 野外观测 Field observation 景观尺度
16 净初级生产力
Net primary production
Aboveground and belowground net primary production
Field sampling and laboratory analysis
样地尺度 Plot
17 土壤碳、氮、磷储量
Soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus stocks
Soil bulk density and soil C, N, P content
Field sampling and laboratory analysis
样地尺度 Plot
18 水土保持力 Soil and water conservation 裸地面积、凋落物量及凋落物覆盖度、植被盖度 Bare soil proportion, litter mass and coverage, and vegetation coverage 野外观测、取样和室内分析
Field observation, sampling and laboratory analysis
Plot and landscape scale
19 地下水供给
Groundwater supply
地下水水位及水质 Groundwater level and quality 野外测量、取样和室内分析
Field observation, sampling and laboratory analysis
景观到区域尺度Landscape to regional
20 气象因子 Meteorological factors 降水、气温、年潜在蒸散量、年实际蒸散量、年总太阳辐射、年光和有效辐射、积温
Precipitation, temperature, annual potential evapotranspiration, annual actual evapotranspiration, annual total solar radiation, annual effective radiation, and annual accumulated temperature
气象站实测、模型插值Meteorological station measurement and model interpolation 景观尺度
21 其他环境变化因子
Other environmental change factors
CO2 partial pressure, acid and nitrogen deposition
Direct measurement and Interpolation
景观到区域尺度Landscape toregional
22 土壤理化性质 Soil physical and chemical properties 土壤类型、质地、酸碱度、有机质含量、持水量
Soil type, texture, pH, organic matter content, water holding capacity
Field sampling and laboratory analysis
样地尺度 Plot
23 地形因素 Topography 坡向、坡度、地表起伏度、地表粗糙度
Aspect, slope, surface waviness and roughness
Derived from DEM data
Plot and landscape
24 土地利用 Land use 土地利用类型、土地利用强度、土地利用历史
Types, intensity and history of land use
Remote sensing, social investigation and literature
景观到区域尺度Landscape to regional
Livestock (sheep, horse, cattle) manure density
野外观测 Field observation 景观尺度
25 社会经济因素Socio-economic factors 人口数量、生活来源、人均收入
Population, source of income, per capita income
社会调研和年鉴统计资料检索 Social investigation and annual books 区域尺度 Regional
26 景观因素 Landscape factors 生境破碎化程度 Degree of habitat fragmentation 遥感 Remote sensing 区域尺度 Regional
27 地史进化因素
Geohistory and evolutionary factors
Geological and evolutionary history
Literature, phylogenetic analysis
区域尺度 Regional

Fig. 1

Layout of the transects, quadrats, species-area relations and point pattern observation positions within each monitoring plot."

Fig. 2

Grassland biodiversity surveyed plots from the field campaign of 2012 in Inner Mongolia"

Fig. 3

Rank of the plant species according to frequency in a surveyed plot for monitoring grassland biodiversity around the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Station (IMGERS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012"

Fig. 4

Species-area relationship of the plant species based on both logarithm transformed area (a-c) and actual investigation area (d-f) from a grassland biodiversity monitoring plot around the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Station (IMGERS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012"

Fig. 5

Rank of the butterfly (A) and bird (B) species according to numbers in a grassland biodiversity monitoring plot around the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Station (IMGERS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012"

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