Persistent and enhanced carbon sequestration capacity of alpine grasslands on Earth's Third Pole

Yuyang Wang, Jingfeng Xiao, Yaoming Ma, Jinzhi Ding, Xuelong Chen, Zhiyong Ding, Yiqi Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The carbon sequestration capacity of alpine grasslands, composed of alpine meadows and steppes, in the Tibetan Plateau has an essential role in regulating the regional carbon cycle. However, inadequate understanding of its spatiotemporal dynamics and regulatory mechanisms restricts our ability to determine potential climate change impacts. We assessed the spatial and temporal patterns and mechanisms of the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide in the Tibetan Plateau. The carbon sequestration of the alpine grasslands ranged from 26.39 to 79.19 Tg C year-1 and had an increasing rate of 1.14 Tg C year-1 between 1982 and 2018. While alpine meadows were relatively strong carbon sinks, the semiarid and arid alpine steppes were nearly carbon neutral. Alpine meadow areas experienced strong increases in carbon sequestration mainly because of increasing temperatures, while alpine steppe areas had weak increases mainly due to increasing precipitation. Carbon sequestration capacity of alpine grasslands on the plateau has undergone persistent enhancement under a warmer and wetter climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereade6875
JournalScience Advances
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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