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Table 1 Basic soil and plant characteristics along the grassland degradation gradient

From: Effect of grassland degradation on soil quality and soil biotic community in a semi-arid temperate steppe

  DG MG TG
Soil environment
 Soil moisture (%) 19.92 ± 0.52c 35.23 ± 5.29b 55.45 ± 7.77a
 Bulk density (g/cm3) 1.16 ± 0.01a 1.03 ± 0.05b 0.75 ± 0.06c
 pH 6.67 ± 0.05b 6.93 ± 0.05a 6.21 ± 0.1c
Soil nutrient
 Total C (g/kg) 29.30 ± 0.83b 31.33 ± 0.59b 75.45 ± 2.77a
 Total N (g/kg) 2.92 ± 0.07b 2.79 ± 0.04b 5.94 ± 0.22a
 Total P (g/kg) 0.46 ± 0.01b 0.46 ± 0.02b 0.97 ± 0.04a
Plant
 Aboveground biomass (g/m2) 143.71 ± 23.29c 292.16 ± 26.46b 411.72 ± 20.11a
 Belowground biomass (g/m2) 2866.81 ± 297.47 2570.06 ± 151.84 4447.15 ± 994.38
 Root shoot ratio 24.83 ± 3.65a 9.26 ± 0.7b 11.24 ± 2.71b
  1. DG degraded grassland, MG meadow steppe, TG the grassland from the forest-steppe ecotone
  2. Means with different letters in the same row indicate significant differences at P < 0.05
  3. Data are shown as mean ± SE