摘要：Abstract: A knowledge of the tree-ring stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) can deepen our understanding of forest ecosystem dynamics by indicating the long-term availability, cycling and sources of nitrogen (N). However, the radial mobility of N blurs the interannual variations in the long-term N records. Previous studies of the chemical extraction of tree rings before analysis had produced inconsistent results and it is still unclear whether it is necessary to pre-treat wood samples from specific tree species to remove soluble N compounds before determining the δ15N values. We compared the effects of pre-treatment with organic solvents and hot ultrapure water on the N concentration and δ15N of tree rings from endemic Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia) growing in the interior of the central Qilian Mountains, China, during the last 60 a. We assessed the effects of different preparation protocols on the removal of the labile N compounds and investigated the need to pre-treat wood samples before determining the δ15N values of tree rings. Increasing trends of the tree-ring N concentration were consistently observed in both the extracted and unextracted wood samples. The total N removed by extraction with organic solvents was about 17.60%, with a significantly higher amount in the sapwood section (P<0.01). The δ15N values of tree rings decreased consistently from 1960 to 2019 in both the extracted and unextracted wood samples. Extraction with organic solvents increased the δ15N values markedly by about 5.2‰ and reduced the variations in the δ15N series. However, extraction with hot ultrapure water had little effect, with only a slight decrease in the δ15N values of about 0.5‰. Our results showed that the radial pattern in the inter-ring movement of N in Qinghai spruce was not minimized by extraction with either organic solvents or hot ultrapure water. It is unnecessary to conduct hot ultrapure water extraction for the wood samples from Qinghai spruce because of its negligible effect on the removal of the labile N. The δ15N variation trend of tree rings in the unextracted wood samples was not influenced by the heartwood–sapwood transition zone. We suggest that the δ15N values of the unextracted wood samples of the climate-sensitive Qinghai spruce could be used to explore the ecophysiological dynamics while focusing on the long-term variations.
Abstract: Caragana korshinskii Kom. and Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb. are pioneer shrubs for water and soil conservation, and for windbreak and sand fixation in arid and semi-arid areas. Understanding the water use characteristics of different pioneer shrubs at different ages is of great importance for their survival when extreme rainfall occurs. In recent years, the stable isotope tracing technique has been used in exploring the water use strategies of plants. However, the widespread δ2H offsets of stem water from its potential sources result in conflicting interpretations of water utilization of plants in arid and semi-arid areas. In this study, we used three sets of hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope data (δ2H and δ18O, corrected δ2H_c1 based on SW-excess and δ18O, and corrected δ2H_c2 based on −8.1‰ and δ18O) as inputs for the MixSIAR model to explore the water use characteristics of C. korshinskii and T. ramosissima at different ages and in response to rainfall. The results showed that δ2H_c1 and δ18O have the best performance, and the contribution rate of deep soil water was underestimated because of δ2H offset. During the dry periods, C. korshinskii and T. ramosissima at different ages both obtained mostly water from deeper soil layers. After rainfall, the proportions of surface (0–10 cm) and shallow (10–40 cm) soil water for C. korshinskii and T. ramosissima at different ages both increased. Nevertheless, there were different response mechanisms of these two plants for rainfall. In addition, C. korshinskii absorbed various potential water sources, while T. ramosissima only used deep water. These flexible water use characteristics of C. korshinskii and T. ramosissima might facilitate the coexistence of plants once extreme rainfall occurs. Thus, reasonable allocation of different plants may be a good vegetation restoration program in western Chinese Loess Plateau.
摘要： As part of a larger project to examine the richness and distribution of wildlife in Kumtag Desert area, we conducted camera trapping surveys during the period 2010–2012 at seven watering sites in an arid region of the Altun Mountains in western China. Information on activity patterns of the wild bactrian camel (Camelus ferus), kiang (Equus kiang), goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), argali (Ovis ammon), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and wolf (Canis lupus) was obtained. We found that the wild camel, kiang, goitered gazelle, argali, and blue sheep were predominantly diurnal at watering sites, whereas red fox and wolf were nocturnal. Five herbivores partitioned the use of watering sites in a temporal manner to minimize the risk of predation by carnivores. The wild camel was the dominant herbivorous species at the watering sites. The kiang, goitered gazelle, argali, and blue sheep displayed adaptive water use by altering spatial or temporal patterns based on the presence or absence of wild camel, to minimize the risk of interspeciﬁc strife. These results are suggestive of the differences in activity patterns that might modulate water partitioning by different species, and provide insights for the development of conservation strategies for integrated species and decisions regarding water development in the Altun Mountains.