J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (1): rtac032.DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtac032

• Research Articles •    

Divergent effects of grazing versus mowing on plant nutrients in typical steppe grasslands of Inner Mongolia

Jiayue Liu1, Lu Li1, Lei Ji1,3, Yanlong Li1, Jiaojiao Liu1 and Frank Yonghong Li1,2,*   

  1. 1 Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Ecology and Resource Use of the Mongolian Plateau and Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Grassland Ecology, School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China, 2 Collaborative Innovation Center for Grassland Ecological Security, Ministry of Education of China, Hohhot 010021, China, 3 National Agricultural Experimental Station for Soil Quality, Institute of Grassland Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Hohhot 010022, China

    *Correspondence author. E-mail: lifyhong@126.com
  • Received:2021-05-27 Revised:2021-07-31 Accepted:2021-12-28 Online:2022-03-05 Published:2023-02-01


Grazing and mowing are two major land use types in natural grasslands, which have intensive effects on nutrient cycling of grassland ecosystems by deposition of fecaluria nutrient versus removal of hay nutrient. Plant nutrients sensitively respond to the changes in nutrient cycling, while the information on the effects of diverse grazing versus mowing regimes on plant nutrients at different organs or levels are incomplete. A field experiment was conducted to compare the effects of continuous versus rotational grazing, and low versus high mowing frequencies on grassland ecosystems in a semiarid steppe of Inner Mongolia. Plant community characteristics and C, N and P concentrations of dominant species were determined across different managements. We found (i) plant community height and standing biomass significantly decreased with grazing intensity under both continuous and rotational grazing and under annual mowing. (ii) Plant shoot C concentration decreased, whereas N and P concentrations increased with grazing intensity in the two grazing regimes, while these concentrations showed no significant changes in response to the two mowing regimes. (iii) Plant community aboveground C, N and P pools significantly decreased with grazing intensity of both grazing regimes, but did not decrease with mowing frequency in the two mowing regimes. (iv) Plant root C, N and P concentrations showed little significant response to different grazing or mowing regimes, indicating a relatively bigger stability or slower response in plant root nutrients. Our study provides insights into the nutrient cycling in grazing and mowing grassland ecosystems from multiple perspectives.

Key words: grazing regime, mowing regime, plant shoot nutrient, plant root nutrient, typical steppe

牧和刈割管理在植物器官水平、种群和群落水平对植物养分具有怎样的影响,目前还缺乏准确的认知。 我们在内蒙古半干旱草原地区通过野外控制实验探究持续放牧和轮牧以及低频率刈割和高频率刈割对草原生态系统的影响,并对不同处理下植物群落特征进行调查以及群落优势物种碳、氮和磷浓度进行测定。 结果表明,(i)在持续放牧和轮牧下随放牧强度的增加,群落高度和地上现存量显著降低;每年一次刈割处理显著降低群落高度和地上现存量;(ii)在两种放牧制度下随放牧强度的增加,植

关键词: 放牧制度, 刈割制度, 植物地上养分, 植物根系养分, 典型草原