Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): X. Cheng; S. An; J. chen; B. Li; Y. Liu; S. Liu
    Date: 2007
    Source: Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 68: 652-667
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.32 MB)


    We chose five communities, representing a mild to severe gradient of grassland desertification in a semi-arid area of Ordos Plateau, northwestern China, to explore the spatial relationships among plant species, above-ground biomass (AGB), and plant nutrients (N and P). Community 1 (Cl) was dominated by Stipa bungeana; community 2 (C2) by a mix of S and the shrub Artemisia ordosica; community 3 (C3) by a ordosica, community 4 (C4) by a mix of Cynachum komarovii and C. komorovii, and community 5 (C5) by C. komorovii. Quantitative methods, including geostatistics, were used to compare community composition, structure, and indicators of ecosystem funciton (i.2. AGB, plant N and P.) in five 16-m2 plots. the highest AGB, plant nitrogen (N) and plant phosphorus (p) were found in lightly degraded community C2. With increasing desertification effects from C3 to C5, the AGB, N, and P decreased significantly while plant density remained unchanged. The spatial variations of AGB were higher in shrub-dominated communities (C1 and C5) than in grass-dominated communities (C2-C4). Strong spatial relationships were detected within and among the communities, with stronger relationships between AGB and density than between AGB and species richness. Spatial patterns of plant N and P were different from those of AGB, reflecting different N and P contents of individual plants and different species that can redistribute soil resources in these communities. the AGB was positively correlated with soil nutrients (TOC, TN, TP, and IN), except for soil AP. We concluded that several specific aspects of ecosystem properties were directly associated with the conversion of the grass and shrub "functional types" in these degraded grasslands.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Cheng, X.; An, S.; chen, J.; Li, B.; Liu, Y.; Liu, S. 2007. Spatial relationships among species, above-ground biomass, N, and P in degraded grasslands in Ordus Plateau, northwestern China. Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 68: 652-667


    spatial heterogeneity, desert vegetation, plant nutrients, disturbed prairie, geostatistics

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page