Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (5): 22100.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022100

Special Issue: 青藏高原生物多样性与生态安全

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Inorganic fertilizers are limiting factors of vegetation restoration of Qinghai Tala Shoal Photovoltaic Power Station

Xiang Liu, Peng Zhang, Jianquan Liu()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, College of Ecology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000
  • Received:2022-03-04 Accepted:2022-04-09 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-04-12
  • Contact: Jianquan Liu


Amis: With its unique geographical condition, vast desert and abundant solar energy resources (strong and abundant solar radiation and long sunshine duration), the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau comprises an important region with multiple advantages in constructing photovoltaic power stations for realizing carbon neutrality. However, the key factors that limit vegetation restoration after such station construction remain unknown. In this study, we aimed to examine how three factors (inorganic fertilizer, microbial inoculum and trace element) affect vegetation restoration under photovoltaic panels.

Methods: Experiments were conducted in the Qinghai Tala Shoal desert steppe ecosystem. A full-factor interaction experiment was carried out to explore the short-term effect of limiting factors including microbial inoculum, inorganic fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus) and trace elements, as well as their interaction on the vegetation characteristics (including community cover, aboveground biomass and species richness).

Results: The inorganic fertilizers significantly increased community cover (F1,5 = 40.598; P < 0.001), decreased plant species richness (F1,5 = 5.133; P = 0.026), but had no significant effect on aboveground biomass (F1,5 = 0.279; P = 0.599). Based on Tukey’s honestly significant difference test, the mixed addition of inorganic fertilizers, microbial inoculants and trace elements reached the maximum value in community cover for both under and outside the photovoltaic panels.

Conclusions: These experiments suggested that inorganic fertilizer is a major factor limiting vegetation restoration under photovoltaic panels, while microbial inoculants and trace elements also play irreplaceable roles in promoting vegetation restoration. Therefore, all of them should be together supplemented for effectively restoring vegetation under photovoltaic panels.

Key words: desert steppe, photovoltaic power station, vegetation restoration, limiting factor, interaction effect