Responses of ground arthropod functional groups to the enclosure of grazing grassland in desert steppe

Ren Tao Liu, Xue Bin Li, Ming Xin, Lin Ma, Kai Liu

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4 Scopus citations


With the support of the National Resources Monitoring Station in Yanchi County of Ningxia, an investigation was conducted on the ground arthropods, vegetations, and soil properties in the enclosed and un-enclosed grazing grassland in desert steppe. In the meantime, the functional groups of ground arthropods were classified according to their feeding habits. The ground arthropods in the desert steppe could be classified into four functional groups, i. e., predatory, phytophagous, saprophagous, and omnivorous, among which, predatory and phytophagous groups were dominant in quantity, and phytophagous and saprophagous groups were predominant in biomass, implying that the ground arthropod in desert steppe was mainly characterized by phytophagous arthropods. Enclosure increased the individual and group number of predatory, phytophagous, and omnivorous arthropods as well as the biomass of predatory and omnivorous arthropods, and enhanced the biodiversity of predatory and phytophagous arthropods, which was closely correlated with the vegetation recovery and soil environment improvement, and demonstrated that the enclosure of grazing grassland increased the diversity and complexity of ground arthropod functional groups in desert steppe. Nevertheless, the individual number and biomass of saprophagous arthropods decreased after the enclosure, reflecting the dependence of these arthropods on grazing grassland.

Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)2153-2159
Number of pages7
JournalChinese Journal of Applied Ecology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Desert steppe
  • Enclosure
  • Functional group
  • Grazing
  • Ground arthropod


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