Title：Effects of grazing and precipitation addition induced by functional groups on the relationship between aboveground biomass and species richness of a typical steppe
Authors：Xiaojuan Huang, Meiyue He, Zhaoxia Guo, Lan Li, Fujiang Hou
Journal: Journal of Environmental Management
Impact factor: 8.91
Abstract: Several studies have explored the influence of grazing or precipitation addition (PA), two important components of human activities and global climate change on the structure and function of communities. However, the response of communities to a combination of grazing and PA remains largely unexplored. We investigated the impact of grazing and PA on the relationship between aboveground biomass (AGB) and species richness (SR) of communities in three-year field experiments conducted in a typical steppe in the Loess Plateau, using a split-plot design with grazing as the main-plot factor and PA as the split-plot factor. AGB and SR have response threshold value to PA, which was decreased by grazing for AGB, but increased for SR. This indicates that implementing grazing management strategies is conducive to strengthening the protection of biodiversity in arid and semi-arid grasslands. Grazing promoted the AGB-SR coupling of the community by increasing the SR of medium drought tolerance (MD), low drought tolerance, and grazing tolerant functional groups. Grazing also accelerated the AGB-SR decoupling of the community by changing the AGB of high drought tolerance, MD, high grazing tolerance, and medium grazing tolerance functional groups. PA mediated changes in MD and SR of both drought and grazing tolerant functional groups and AGB of low grazing tolerance promoted the coupling of AGB-SR of the community. The Two-dimension functional groups classification method reflects the changes of AGB and SR in communities more reasonable than the division of single-factor functional groups.