Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 761-769.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0188

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Correlation between vein density and water use efficiency of Salix matsudana in Zhangye Wetland, China

Ting XU, Cheng-Zhang ZHAO*(), Ling HAN, Wei FENG, Bei-Bei DUAN, Hui-Ling ZHENG   

  1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Research Center of Wetland Resources Protection and Industrial Development Engineering of Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2016-05-31 Accepted:2017-04-06 Online:2017-08-21 Published:2017-07-10
  • Contact: Cheng-Zhang ZHAO
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims The correlation between vein density and water use efficiency (WUE) affects the balance between water supply and demand of plant leaves, which is significant for comprehending the ecological adaptation strategies of plants. The objective of this study was to study how Salix matsudana modulated vein density and WUE along a soil moisture gradient in Zhangye Wetland, China. Methods The study was conducted in floodplain wetland near Heihe River in Zhangye City, Gansu Province, China. Three sample plots, at a spatial interval of 70 m, were set up along a soil moisture gradient ordinally from the area near the water body to the wetland edge, plot I (69.23%), spot II (48.38%) and spot III (35.27%). Community traits were investigated by using diagonal method, and all individuals of S. matsudana were used for measurements of height and canopy. At each plot, 5 individuals of S. matsudana at 4 vertices and diagonal intersection were selected for measurements of vein density, WUE, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), saturated vapor pressure differences (VPD), specific leaf area, stomatal conductance (Gs) and intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci). We used mathematical methods of correlation analysis and standardized major axis to investigate relationships between vein density and WUE. Important findings With decreasing soil moisture, the height, canopy, specific leaf area, Gs and Ci of S. matsudana decreased gradually, while the vein density, WUE, Pn, Tr, PAR and VPD increased gradually. The correlation between vein density and WUE was positive in all the three plots, but the relationship varied along the soil moisture plots gradient. There was a highly significant positive correlation (p < 0.01) between the vein density and WUE at plot I and III, whereas the correlation only reached a significant level (p < 0.05) at plot II; The correlation coefficient between vein density and WUE is significantly smaller than 1 at plot I (p < 0.05), while the correlation coefficient is significant greater than 1 at plot II and III (p < 0.05). We can conclude that varied relationships between vein density and WUE of S. matsudana along a soil moisture gradient could reflect plant acclimation.

Key words: Salix matsudana, vein density, water use efficiency, correlation, soil moisture, Zhangye Wetland

Table 1

Main characteristics of plots in different water plots (mean ± SE, n = 60)"

Soil moisture (%)
群落特征 Community characteristics
高度 Height (cm) 郁闭度 Crown density (%)
I 69.23 ± 3.55a 636.96 ± 27.63a 91.21 ± 4.56a
II 48.38 ± 2.46b 589.25 ± 17.28b 75.69 ± 3.78b
III 35.27 ± 1.76c 502.34 ± 26.76c 37.26 ± 1.86c

Fig. 1

Change among leaf traits and water use efficiency (WUE) of Salix matsudana in different plots (mean ± SE, n = 60). Different lowercase letters indicate significant differences of different plots for identical module (p < 0.05)."

Table 2

Photosynthetic characteristics of Salix matsudana in different plots (mean ± SE, n = 60)"

样地 Plot I II III
饱和水汽压差 VPD
0.25 ± 0.01c 0.28 ± 0.01b 0.32 ± 0.02a
气孔导度 Gs
1.77 ± 0.09a 0.91 ± 0.05b 0.32 ± 0.02c
蒸腾速率 Tr
3.02 ± 0.15c 5.26 ± 0.26b 6.81 ± 0.34a
净光合速率 Pn (μmol·m-2·s-1) 3.69 ± 0.08c 8.83 ± 0.34b 16.63 ± 0.83a
胞间CO2浓度 Ci
0.31 ± 0.02a 0.29 ± 0.02a 0.27 ± 0.01a
光合有效辐射 PAR
782.30 ± 39.12c 1105.20 ± 55.26b 1562.20 ± 78.12a

Fig. 2

Relationship between vein density and water use efficiency (WUE) of Salix matsudana among different plots. A, Plot I; B, Plot II; C, Plot III. Plot see Table 1."

Table 3

Variation of leaf transpiration rate (Tr), net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and water use efficiency (WUE) for Salix matsudana"

参数 Parameter Tr Pn WUE
变异系数 Coefficient of variation (%) 9.25% 20.32% 9.96%
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