Next Article in Journal
Consumer Preferences for Superfood Ingredients—the Case of Bread in Germany
Previous Article in Journal
Sustainable Value of Investment in Real Estate: Real Options Approach
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124666 (registering DOI)

Determining Soil Nutrients Reference Condition in Alpine Region Grassland, China: A Case Study of Hulun Buir Grassland

1,2,* , 1,2
,
3
,
1
,
4
and
1,2,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Institute of Architecture Design and Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100086, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [828 KB, uploaded 7 December 2018]   |  

Abstract

Grasslands represent a source of nutrient cycling, ecosystem stabilization, and services for human use. Grassland soil quality is commonly used as an indicator of ecosystem health and sustainability due to its strong correlation with overall grassland quality and ecosystem health. Although direct and indirect effects of human activities or disturbances on soil can be taken into account, a benchmark (i.e., the reference condition (RC)) should be used and is needed to describe the baseline of an area without significant anthropogenic disturbance. Therefore, determination of the soil reference condition and suitable selection methods have become a key focal point in grassland protection and ecological assessments. In this study, several methods were selected to determine soil nutrient concentrations of Hulun Buir Grassland in northern China based on the proposed criteria. The concentrations of total organic matter, N, P, and K; 112 samples were analyzed using the population distribution method, trisection method, and regression model method. The reference concentrations of total organic matter, N, P, and K in soil were recommended to be 52.12 g/kg, 2.94 g/kg, 2.08 mg/kg, and 305.76 mg/kg, respectively. In the alpine region grassland, the major factors that impact nutrient concentration were agricultural activity and vegetation coverage. Sampling methods should be used preferentially in determining grassland soil reference condition and historical data; experts’ judgment could be used in substitution. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological assessment; reference condition; grassland; soil quality ecological assessment; reference condition; grassland; soil quality
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Li, J.; Cao, F.; Wu, D.; Fu, X.; Tian, Y.; Wu, G. Determining Soil Nutrients Reference Condition in Alpine Region Grassland, China: A Case Study of Hulun Buir Grassland. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4666.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top