Special Issues

Grassland Ecology in China under Global Change

Submission Deadline: 31 May 2024 (closed) View: 6 Submit to Special Issue

Guest Editors

Dr. Jianqiang Qian, College of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China
E-mail: jq.qian@henau.edu.cn

Dr. Junfeng Wang, School of Life Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China
Email address: wangjf150@nenu.edu.cn

Dr. Qing Zhang, School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China
Email address: qzhang82@163.com

Dr. Wentao Luo, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang, China
Email address: wentaoluo@iae.ac.cn


China’s grasslands, as the third largest grassland ecosystem in the world, accounted for 30% of the national land area and 10% of the global grassland area. The grassland ecosystems in China are classified into four major types: meadow steppes, typical steppes, desert steppes and alpine steppes, with a combined distribution ranging from the northeastern plain adjacent to Mongolia to south of the Tibetan Plateau. This ecosystem provides multiple ecosystem functions and services, such as biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and sand fixation.

The predicted global changes, such as climate change and human activities, are expected to exert profound effects on grassland structure and functioning in China. Global change can influence the ecophysiological traits and the distribution pattern of plant species, species growth rate, and community productivity. These changes may disrupt the delicate balance of the grassland ecosystem, potentially leading to shifts in community composition and ecosystem functions. The most grasslands have been facing various degree of degradation in China due to the joint effects of climate change and human disturbances. Therefore, it is essential to comprehensively understand the effects of global change on grassland ecosystems at various scales and work towards finding innovative solutions to mitigate these effects in China.

The Special Issue will greatly promote the theoretical progress in grassland ecology under global change and provide key insights into the maintenance of grassland ecosystem functions and the restoration of degraded grasslands in China. We welcome original research, reviews, and methods related to the effects of global change on grassland and the responses of individual, population, community and ecosystem to global climate changes (e.g., warming and alteration in precipitation) and human activities (e.g., grazing, mowing, and fertilization).


biodiversity, climate change, community dynamics, disturbance, ecosystem functioning

Published Papers

  • Open Access


    Belowground Bud Bank Is Insensitive to Short-Term Nutrient Addition in the Meadow Steppe of Inner Mongolia

    Jin Tao, Jiatai Tian, Dongmei Li, Jinlei Zhu, Qun Ma, Zhiming Zhang, Jungang Chen, Yipeng Liu, Jianqiang Qian
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.051405
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Grassland Ecology in China under Global Change)
    Abstract Human activities and industrialization have significantly increased soil nutrients, such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), profoundly impacting the composition and structure of plant community, as well as the ecosystem functions, especially in nutrient-limited ecosystems. However, as the key propagule pool of perennial grasslands, how belowground bud bank and its relationship with aboveground vegetation respond to short-term changes in soil nutrients was still unclear. In this study, we conducted a short-term (2021–2022) soil fertilization experiment with N addition (10 g N m−2 yr−1 ) and P addition (5 g N m−2 yr−1 ) in the meadow steppe… More >

  • Open Access


    Unexpected Diversity in Ecosystem Nutrient Responses to Experimental Drought in Temperate Grasslands

    Biying Qiu, Niwu Te, Lin Song, Yuan Shi, Chuan Qiu, Xiaoan Zuo, Qiang Yu, Jianqiang Qian, Zhengwen Wang, Honghui Wu, Wentao Luo
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.4, pp. 831-841, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.047560
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Grassland Ecology in China under Global Change)
    Abstract The responses of ecosystem nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to drought are an important component of global change studies. However, previous studies were more often based on site-specific experiments, introducing a significant uncertainty to synthesis and site comparisons. We investigated the responses of vegetation and soil nutrients to drought using a network experiment of temperate grasslands in Northern China. Drought treatment (66% reduction in growing season precipitation) was imposed by erecting rainout shelters, respectively, at the driest, intermediate, and wettest sites. We found that vegetation nutrient concentrations increased but soil nutrient concentrations decreased along the… More >

  • Open Access


    Improving the Accuracy of Vegetation Index Retrieval for Biomass by Combining Ground-UAV Hyperspectral Data–A New Method for Inner Mongolia Typical Grasslands

    Ruochen Wang, Jianjun Dong, Lishan Jin, Yuyan Sun, Taogetao Baoyin, Xiumei Wang
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.2, pp. 387-411, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.047573
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Grassland Ecology in China under Global Change)
    Abstract Grassland biomass is an important parameter of grassland ecosystems. The complexity of the grassland canopy vegetation spectrum makes the long-term assessment of grassland growth a challenge. Few studies have explored the original spectral information of typical grasslands in Inner Mongolia and examined the influence of spectral information on aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation. In order to improve the accuracy of vegetation index inversion of grassland AGB, this study combined ground and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) remote sensing technology and screened sensitive bands through ground hyperspectral data transformation and correlation analysis. The narrow band vegetation indices were… More >

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