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1. chinaXiv:201910.00054 [pdf]

Ecological biomass allocation strategies in plant species with different life forms in a cold desert, China

FAN Lianlian; DING Junxiang ; MA Xuexi, ; LI Yaoming
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Resource Sciences >> Basic Disciplines of Environmental Science and Technology

Biomass allocation patterns among plant species are related to their adaptive ecological strategies. Ephemeral, ephemeroid and annual plant life forms represent three typical growth strategies of plants that grow in autumn and early spring in the cold deserts of China. These plants play an important role in reducing wind velocity in the desert areas. However, despite numerous studies, the strategies of biomass allocation among plant species with these three life forms remain contentious. In this study, we conducted a preliminary quadrat study during 2014–2016 in the southern part of the Gurbantunggut Desert, China, to investigate the allocation patterns of above-ground biomass (AGB) and below-ground biomass (BGB) at the individual level in 17 ephemeral, 3 ephemeroid and 4 annual plant species. Since ephemeral plants can germinate in autumn, we also compared biomass allocation patterns between plants that germinated in autumn 2015 and spring 2016 for 4 common ephemeral species. The healthy mature individual plants of each species were sampled and the AGB, BGB, total biomass (TB), leaf mass ratio (LMR) and root/shoot ratio (R/S) were calculated for 201 sample quadrats in the study area. We also studied the relationships between AGB and BGB of plants with the three different life forms (ephemeral, ephemeroid and annual). The mean AGB values of ephemeral, ephemeroid and annual plants were 0.806, 3.759 and 1.546 g/plant, respectively, and the mean BGB values were 0.106, 4.996 and 0.166 g/plant, respectively. The mean R/S value was significantly higher in ephemeroid plants (1.675) than in ephemeral (0.154) and annual (0.147) plants. The mean LMR was the highest in annual plants, followed by ephemeroid plants and ephemeral plants, reflecting the fact that annual plants allocate more biomass to leaves, associated with their longer life span. Biomass of ephemeral plants that germinated in autumn was significantly higher than those of corresponding plants that germinated in spring in terms of AGB, BGB and TB. However, the R/S value was similar in plants that germinated in autumn and spring. The slope of regression relationship between AGB and BGB differed significantly among the three plant life forms. These results support different biomass allocation hypotheses. Specifically, at the individual level, the AGB and BGB partitioning supports the allometric hypothesis for ephemeroid and annual plants and the isometric hypothesis for ephemeral plants.

submitted time 2019-10-26 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3840Downloads307 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201910.00057 [pdf]

Spatio-temporal variation of soil moisture in a fixed dune at the southern edge of the Gurbantunggut Desert in Xinjiang, China

ZHU Hai; HU Shunjun; YANG Jingsong; Fidele KARAMAGE; LI Hao; FU Sihua
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Resource Sciences >> Basic Disciplines of Environmental Science and Technology

Soil moisture is critical for vegetation growth in deserts. However, detailed data regarding the soil moisture distribution in space and time in the Gurbantunggut Desert of China have not yet been reported. In this study, we conducted a series of in situ observation experiments in a fixed sand dune at the southern edge of the Gurbantunggut Desert from February 2014 to October 2016, to explore the spatio-temporal variation of soil moisture content, investigate the impact of Haloxylon ammodendron (C. A. Mey.) Bungeon soil moisture content in its root zone, and examine the factors influencing the soil moisture spatial pattern. One-way analysis of variance, least significant difference tests and correlation analysis were used to analyze the data. The results revealed that the soil moisture content exhibited annual periodicity and the temporal variation of soil moisture content throughout a year could be divided into three periods, namely, a moisture-gaining period, a moisture-losing period and a moisture-stable period. According to the temporal and spatial variability, the 0–400 cm soil profile could be divided into two layers: an active layer with moderate variability and a stable layer with weak variability. The temporal variability was larger than the spatial variability in the active layer, and the mean profile soil moisture content at different slope positions displayed the trend of decreasing with increasing relative height and mainly followed the order of interdune area>west and east slopes>slope top. The mean profile soil moisture content in the root zone of dead H. ammodendron individuals was significantly higher than that in the root zones of adult and young individuals, while the soil moisture content in the root zone of adult individuals was slightly higher than that in the root zone of young individuals with no significant difference. The spatial pattern of soil moisture was attributable to the combined effects of snowfall, vegetation and soil texture, whereas the effects of rainfall and evaporation were not significant. The findings may offer a foundation for the management of sandy soil moisture and vegetation restoration in arid areas.

submitted time 2019-10-26 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1960Downloads414 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201909.00008 [pdf]

Shrub modulates the stoichiometry of moss and soil in desert ecosystems, China

LI Yonggang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Desert mosses, which are important stabilizers in desert ecosystems, are distributed patchily under and between shrubs. Mosses differ from vascular plants in the ways they take up nutrients. Clarifying their distribution with ecological stoichiometry may be useful in explaining their mechanisms of living in different microhabitats. In this study, Syntrichia caninervis, the dominant moss species of moss crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, China, was selected to examine the study of stoichiometric characteristics in three microhabitats (under living shrubs, under dead shrubs and in exposed ground). The stoichiometry and enzyme activity of rhizosphere soil were analyzed. The plant function in the above-ground and below-ground parts of S. caninervis is significantly different, so the stoichiometry of the above-ground and below-ground parts might also be different. Results showed that carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents in the below-ground parts of S. caninervis were significantly lower than those in the above-ground parts. The highest N and P contents of the two parts were found under living shrubs and the lowest under dead shrubs. The C contents of the two parts did not differ significantly among the three microhabitats. In contrast, the ratios of C:N and C:P in the below-ground parts were higher than those in the above-ground parts in all microhabitats, with significant differences in the microhabitats of exposed ground and under living shrubs. There was an increasing trend in soil organic carbon (SOC), soil total nitrogen (STN), soil available phosphorous (SAP), and C:P and N:P ratios from exposed ground to under living shrubs and to under dead shrubs. No significant differences were found in soil total phosphorous (STP) and soil available nitrogen (SAN), or in ratios of C:N and SAN:SAP. Higher soil urease (SUE) and soil nitrate reductase (SNR) activities were found in soil under dead shrubs, while higher soil sucrase (STC) and soil β-glucosidase (SBG) activities were respectively found in exposed ground and under living shrubs. Soil alkaline phosphatase (AKP) activity reached its lowest value under dead shrubs, and there was no significant difference between the microhabitats of exposed ground and under living shrubs. Results indicated that the photosynthesis-related C of S. caninervis remained stable under the three microhabitats while N and P were mediated by the microhabitats. The growth strategy of S. caninervis varied in different microhabitats because of the different energy cycles and nutrient balances. The changes of stoichiometry in soil were not mirrored in the moss. We conclude that microhabitat could change the growth strategy of moss and nutrients cycling of moss patches

submitted time 2019-08-30 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits8978Downloads387 Comment 0

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