Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 303-310.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00303

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Seasonal variations of sulfur in Suaeda salsa under different habitats in the intertidal zone of Yellow River Estuary, China

SUN Wan-Long1, SUN Zhi-Gao1,2*, LIN Guang-Hui2, MU Xiao-Jie1,3,4, and WANG Ling-Ling1,3   

  1. 1Laboratory of Coastal Wetland Ecology, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai 264003, China;

    2Key Laboratory ofthe Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China;

    3Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049, China;

    4Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130012, China
  • Received:2010-03-29 Revised:2010-12-12 Online:2011-03-01 Published:2011-03-02
  • Contact: SUN Zhi-Gao

Abstract:

Aims Our objective was to determine the characteristics of sulfur (S) accumulation and allocation by Suaeda salsa in two different habitats of the intertidal zone in the Yellow River Estuary of China. Methods We established two plots (30 m × 30 m) in two different tidal flats and collected different organs of S. salsa every 20 days from May to November 2008 from four or five sites selected at random from the two plots. Important findings The biomass of different organs of S. salsa in middle tidal flat (JP1) and low tidal flat (JP2) showed significant seasonal dynamics, and the values of JP1 tended to be higher than those of JP2. For JP1 and JP2, the ratios of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass changed similarly, but the values of JP2 tended to be larger than those of JP1. The litter biomass of JP1 and JP2 increased exponentially during the growing season. Although the total sulfur (TS) contents in leaves, stems or litter of JP1 and JP2 fluctuated greatly during the growing season, they all initially increased and then decreased. In comparison, values in roots decreased at all times following an exponential decay model. The TS accumulation amount and rate (VS) of different organs and litter also had seasonal changes, and the values of above-ground organs of JP1 were much higher than those of JP2. Moreover, the TS accumulation amount and VS of above-ground parts were higher than those of below-ground parts. The S allocation ratios of different parts of JP1 and JP2 also had significant differences. Leaves had the highest allocation ratio, and values of JP1 and JP2 were (38.34 ± 16.19)% and (66.27 ± 12.09)%, respectively, indicating that leaves were the most important site of S storage.