Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (2): 111-129.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017021

Special Issue: 生物多样性与生态系统功能 青藏高原生物多样性与生态安全

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Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Zhonghua Zhang1,6, Huakun Zhou1,2,*(), Xinquan Zhao1,2,*(), Buqing Yao1, Zhen Ma1, Quanmin Dong3, Zhenhua Zhang1, Wenying Wang4, Yuanwu Yang5   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Cold Regions Restoration Ecology, Qinghai Province, Northwest Plateau Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008
    2 The Co-constructing State Key Laboratory of Three Rivers Sources Ecology and Plateau Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Qinghai University, Xining 810016
    3 Qinghai Academy of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Xining 810016
    4 College of Life and Geography Science, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008
    5 College of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry, Qinghai University, Xining 810016
    6 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2017-01-23 Accepted:2017-07-15 Online:2018-02-20 Published:2018-05-05
  • Contact: Zhou Huakun,Zhao Xinquan
  • About author:# Co-first authors


The study of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is a hot topic in the field of terrestrial ecosystem ecology, and is of great significance for the efficient use and management of ecosystems. Furthermore, it plays an important role in the restoration of degraded ecosystems and biodiversity conservation. Alpine grassland is the main ecosystem type found in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In recent years, progress has been made on species diversity and ecosystem functioning and their mutual relationship in alpine grasslands. This paper analyzes existing problems in the research of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terms of the study of underlying ecological processes and the impacts on ecosystem multi-functionality under global change. The effects of different grassland types, grassland degradation, grazing disturbance, simulated climate change, mowing, fertilization, enclosure, and replanting on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in alpine grasslands are also thoroughly reviewed in this paper. Moreover, deficiencies and future research directions of alpine grassland BEF are identified: carrying on the BEF research of alpine grasslands based on the functional diversity of species, comprehensively considering the effects of abiotic factors such as resource supply levels, disturbance intensity and scale, and environmental fluctuation on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem function, and paying attention to the effect of scale and element coupling on BEF research of alpine grasslands under global climate change. Finally, based on research progress and conclusions of BEF in alpine grasslands, we put forward suggestions to improve the utilization rate of alpine grassland resources and biodiversity conservation, including strengthening grazing management, protecting biodiversity, improving governance of degraded grasslands, maintaining biodiversity function, strengthening innovation and protection concepts and enhancing ecosystem functioning that has been seriously weakened by climate change and human disturbance.

Key words: alpine meadow, biodiversity, ecosystem function, productivity, climate warming, grazing, land use, protection strategy