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

    分类: 生物学 >> 植物学 提交时间: 2024-04-15 合作期刊: 《干旱区科学》

    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.

  • Biocrust-induced partitioning of soil water between grass and shrub in a desert steppe of Northwest China

    分类: 地球科学 >> 地理学 提交时间: 2023-02-07 合作期刊: 《干旱区科学》

    摘要: Maintaining the stability of exotic sand-binding shrub has become a large challenge in arid and semi-arid grassland ecosystems in northern China. We investigated two kinds of shrublands with different BSCs (biological soil crusts) cover in desert steppe in Northwest China to characterize the water sources of shrub (Caragana intermedia Kuang et H. C. Fu) and grass (Artemisia scoparia Waldst. et Kit.) by stable 18O isotopic. Our results showed that both shrublands were subject to persistent soil water deficiency from 2012 to 2017, the minimum soil depth with CV (coefficient of variation) C. intermedia, a considerable proportion of water sources pointed to the surface soil. Water from BSCs contributed to averages 22.9% and 17.6% of the total for C. intermedia and A. scoparia, respectively. C. intermedia might use more water from BSCs in rainy season than dry season, in contrast to A. scoparia. The relationship between shrub (or grass) and soil water by 18O shown significant differences in months, which partly verified the potential trends and relations covered by the high variability of the water source at seasonal scale. More fine roots at 05 cm soil layer could be found in the surface soil layer covered by BSCs (8000 cm/m3) than without BSCs (3200 cm/m3), which ensured the possibility of using the surface soil water by C. intermedia. The result implies that even under serious soil water deficiency, C. intermedia can use the surface soil water, leading to the coexistence between C. intermedia and A. scoparia. Different with the result from BSCs in desert areas, the natural withdrawal of artificial C. intermedia from desert steppe will be a long-term process, and the highly competitive relationship between shrubs and grasses also determines that its habitat will be maintained in serious drought state for a long time.