Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (6): 651-657.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.07095

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Minimum plot size for estimating plant biodiversity of the alpine grasslands on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Shikui Dong1,*(), Lin Tang1, Xuexia Wang1, Yinghui Liu2, Shiliang Liu1, Quanru Liu2, Yu Wu1, Yuanyuan Li1, Xukun Su1, Chen Zhao1   

  1. 1 School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
    2 College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
    3 College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
  • Received:2013-04-11 Accepted:2013-09-05 Online:2013-11-20 Published:2013-12-02
  • Contact: Dong Shikui

Abstract:

To determine the appropriate plot size for estimating plant diversity of different types of alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), i.e. alpine meadow, alpine steppe and alpine desert, seven models were applied in the examination of species-area relationships. Depending on the optimal species-area relationship curves, the minimum sizes of sampling plot for each type of grassland under healthy and degraded conditions were obtained. The findings were as follows: (1) Non-saturation curve models were most suitable for describing species-area relationships of alpine grasslands on the QTP; (2) For all three types of alpine grassland, the minimum plot size for healthy grasslands was larger than that for degraded ones; (3) Minimum plot sizes for estimating plant diversity were 108 m2 and 82 m2, respectively, for healthy and degraded alpine meadow, 130 m2 and 81 m2, respectively, for healthy and degraded alpine steppe, and 60 m2 and 41 m2, respectively, for healthy and degraded alpine desert.

Key words: Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, alpine grasslands, species-area relationship, minimum plot size