The biodiversity and stability of alpine meadow plant communities in relation to altitude gradient in three headwater resource regions
Kobresia pygmaea meadow community diversities in relation to altitude gradients (4200, 4300, 4400, 4450) on free grazing grassland was studied in the range of Chenduo county, Yushu prefecture, Qinghai province. Species richness and diversity index of vegetations in the four altitudes were comparatively analyzed. The results showed that the shape of species richness responsive curves to altitude gradient is “Bell-shape”. There were the same 11 common species in the four communities. The relative abundance of K. pygmaea decreased along increasing altitude. Moreover, the fuzzy membership functions were used to calculate the degree of stability, showing medium altitude > high altitude > low altitude, which suggested that grass land vegetation in low altitude of the sampling site had lower diversity, and the grade of species vulnerability risks may be decided with the help of the degree of stability.
Key words: Alpine meadow, Yangtze, Yellow and Yalu Tsangpo river source region, altitude gradient, species diversity, membership functions.