Current position:observation site > Sites > Grassland Ecosystem > Naqu


NQ station is located in the core zone of the Northern Tibetan Plateau (31°38.513′N, 092°00.921′E, 4606 m a.s.l.), affiliated to Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. There are two flux towers in the forbidden grazing treatment meadow and the free-grazed treatment meadow, respectively. The vegetation is dominated by Kobresiapygmaea.


The region belongs to the plateau subfrigid monsoon climate. The annual mean air temperature is-0.9℃—-3.3℃. The extreme high temperature is 22.6℃ and low is-41.2℃. The cumulative temperatureabove 0 is 1003.5℃. The relative humidity is 48-51%. The annual mean rainfall is 400 mm, with 80% falling between June and September. The average annual evaporation is 1800mm. The annual average sunlight is 2852.6—2881.7h. The annual frost period is 103d, with no absolute frost-free period throughout the year.

Vegetation and soil

The vegetation is dominated by Kobresiapygmaea, and accompanied by Potentillabifurca, PotentillasaundersianaRoyle, Leontopodiumpusillum, andCarexmoorcroftii, etc. The soil is classified as meadow soil with sandy loam. The soil thickness is less than 30cm. The soil PH is 0.74 at 0-10cm depth. The bottom mat close by flux tower is dominated by Kobresiapygmaea.

Observation system

Li-7500A; Li-7700; observation system of respiration; CO2 control system; Real-time monitoring system of phenology; observation system of visibility.

Principal Investigator

Yangjian Zhang


Station director

Yangjian Zhang         Professor

Assistant station director

Juntao Zhu               Assoc.Professor

Jingsheng Wang      Assoc.Professor


Li Tian                         Postdoc




Effects of global change on ecological processes of typical grasslands in China and their environmental effects.       (Yangjian Zhang   2013-2017)


The current status and rate of carbon fixition and their mechanism and potential for grassland systems in China.       (Yangjian Zhang   2011-2015)

"the light of western" project

Effect of grazing on alpine ecosystem function.          (Juntao Zhu    2013-2015)


Effect of simulated short-term warming on diversity and growth of bryophytes in alpine meadow on northern Tibet.        (Yanbin Jiang   2014-2016)

Published Papers

[1]  Yangjian Zhang*, Guirui Yu, Jian Yang, Michael C. Wimberly, XianZhou Zhang, Jian Tao, Jiang Y.B., Juntao Zhu. Climate-driven global changes in carbon use efficiency. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23:144-155, 2013.
[2]  Zhang, G., Dong, J., Yangjian Zhang*., & Xiao, X. Reply to Shen et al.: No evidence to show nongrowing season NDVI affects spring phenology trend in the Tibetan Plateau over the last decade. PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1305593110, 2013.
[3]  Dong, J., Zhang, G., Yangjian Zhang, & Xiao, X. Reply to Wang et al.: Snow cover and air temperature affect the rate of changes in spring phenology in the Tibetan Plateau. PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1306813110, 2013.
[4]  Jian Tao, Yangjian Zhang*, et al. Elevation-Dependent Temperature Change in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau Grassland during the Past Decade. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, doi 10.1007/s00704-013-0976-z, 2013.
[5]  Geli Zhang, Yangjian Zhang*, Jinwei Dong, Xiangming Xiao. Green-up dates in the Tibetan Plateau have continuously advanced from 1982 to 2011. PNAS, 110(1):4309-4314, 2013.
[6]  Tian li, Zhang yangjian, zhu juntao. Decreased surface albedo driven by denser vegetation on the Tibetan Plateau. Environmental Research Letters, 2014, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/10/104001.
[7]  Juntao Zhu, Lin Jiang, Yangjian Zhang, Yanbin Jiang, Jian Tao, Li Tian, Tao Zhang and Yi Xi. Below–ground competition drives the self–thinning process of Stipa purpurea populations in Northern Tibet. Journal of Vegetation Science, 2014. Doi: 10.1111/jvs.12207

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