Effects of vegetation community characteristics under different grazing intensities on soil aggregates in Xilamuren grassland

1.College of Forestry, Shandong Agricultural University, Taishan Forest Ecosystem Research Station;2.Co-Innovation Center for Soil-Water and Forest-Grass Ecological Conservation in Yellow River Basin of Shandong Higher Education Institutions

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The National Natural Science Foundation of China (General Program, Key Program, Major Research Plan)(42177347,51879155);Open Research Fund of Yinshanbeilu National Field Research Station of steppe Eco-hydrological System, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (YSS202104)

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    [Objective] Vegetation community is an important factor affecting soil aggregates. However, the impact of changes in vegetation communities on soil aggregates under grazing pressure is still unclear. [Method] Taking Xilamuren Desert Steppe as the research object, the characteristics of vegetation community and soil aggregates under light grazing (LG), moderate grazing (MG), heavy grazing (HG) and no grazing (CK) and their relationship were analyzed by field investigation and indoor analysis. The effects of plant community changes on soil aggregates were revealed. [Results] (1) The number of plant community species increased with the increase of grazing intensity. The Shamnon-Wiener diversity index (H") and Simpson dominance index (D) of LG community were significantly lower than those of other grazing intensities (P<0.05). The aboveground biomass decreased with the increase of grazing intensity, and the aboveground biomass of HG was significantly lower than that of other grazing intensities (P<0.05). The underground biomass under different grazing intensities was significantly different, and the underground biomass of different soil layers was the highest in LG. (2) The change trend of mean weight diameter (MWD) and geometric mean diameter (GMD) was consistent with the content of macroaggregates. In 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm soil layers, it increased first, then decreased and then increased with the increase of grazing intensity (LG was the highest and MG was the lowest). (3) The community Shamnon-Wiener diversity index (H"), Pielous evenness index (J"), aboveground biomass, bulk density, organic carbon and total nitrogen content were significant factors affecting macroaggregate content, MWD and GMD (P<0.05). [Conclusion] The research results can provide theoretical support and scientific basis for rational grazing and ecological restoration in Xilamuren grassland.

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  • Received:December 28,2023
  • Revised:January 29,2024
  • Adopted:January 29,2024
  • Online: April 29,2024
  • Published: