Abstract: Ground covers (i.e. litter and moss) and soils play a key role in water conservation and hydrological regulation of forest ecosystem. The changes of forest water conservation function in the source area of Minjiang River on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are of great significances to the ecological environment construction and water resource security of the whole Minjiang River basin and even the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Through field investigation and laboratory experiment, this dataset integrates the storage and maximum water holding capacity of ground covers and the bulk density, maximum water holding capacity and capillary water holding capacity of 0–20 cm soils of a typical alpine forest-shrub ecotone in the source area of Minjiang River. It is expected to provide scientific basis for further understanding the ecohydrological effect of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, which is of great significance for sustainable management and water environment improvement of the regional forest ecosystem.
Keywords: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; water conservation; litter; moss; soil; forest-shrub ecotone