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Effects of wind speed, underlying surface, and seed morphological traits on the secondary seed dispersal in the Tengger Desert, China

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摘要: The maintenance of sand-fixing vegetation is important for the stability of artificial sand-fixing systems in which seed dispersal plays a key role. Based on field wind tunnel experiments using 11 common plant species on the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert, China, we studied the secondary seed dispersal in the fixed and semi-fixed sand dunes as well as in the mobile dunes in order to understand the limitations of vegetation regeneration and the maintenance of its stability. Our results indicated that there were significant variations among the selected 11 plant species in the threshold of wind speed (TWS). The TWS of Caragana korshinskii was the highest among the 11 plant species, whereas that of Echinops gmelinii was the lowest. Seed morphological traits and underlying surface could generally explain the TWS. During the secondary seed dispersal processes, the proportions of seeds that did not disperse (no dispersal) and only dispersed over short distance (short-distance dispersal within the wind tunnel test section) were significantly higher than those of seeds that were buried (including lost seeds) and dispersed over long distance (long-distance dispersal beyond the wind tunnel test section). Compared with other habitats, the mobile dunes were the most difficult places for secondary seed dispersal. Buried seeds were the easiest to be found in the semi-fixed sand dunes, whereas fixed sand dunes were the best sites for seeds that dispersed over long distance. The results of linear mixed models showed that after controlling the dispersal distance, smaller and rounder seeds dispersed farther. Shape index and wind speed were the two significant influencing factors on the burial of seeds. The explanatory power of wind speed, underlying surface, and seed morphological traits on the seeds that did not disperse and dispersed over short distance was far greater than that on the seeds that were buried and dispersed over long distance, implying that the processes and mechanisms of burial and long-distance dispersal are more complex. In summary, most seeds in the study area either did not move, were buried, or dispersed over short distance, promoting local vegetation regeneration.

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[V1] 2024-04-15 13:08:11 ChinaXiv:202404.00182V1 下载全文
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