Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (6): 562-575.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00052


• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Morphological traits and physiological characteristics in drought tolerance in 20 shrub species on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau

QIU Quan1*, PAN Xin1, LI Ji-Yue1**, WANG Jun-Hui2**, MA Jian-Wei3, and DU Kun3   

  1. 1College of Forestry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China;

    2Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation, State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100091, China;

    3Xiaolongshan Forestry Science and Technology Research Institute, Tianshui, Gansu 741022, China
  • Received:2013-07-16 Revised:2014-03-12 Online:2014-06-10 Published:2014-06-01
  • Contact: LI Ji-Yue


Aims Providing indispensably theoretical evidence for establishing indices of evaluation on drought tolerance in shrubs, and screening for tree species that are drought tolerant for afforestation in arid regions or for matching their characteristics with suitable habitat conditions are the key to vegetation restoration in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. However, these issues are not adequately addressed in recent research due to lack of systematic methods. Therefore, our objective was to make a comprehensive evaluation on drought tolerance in 20 shrub species collected from different areas in Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, and to study their underlying mechanisms in drought tolerance.
Methods We made measurements on variables depicting root characteristics, including the root length (TRL), surface area (TRSA), volume (TRV), and tips number (TRTN) of all roots, the root length (FRL), surface area (FRSA), volume (FRV), and tips number (FRTN) of fine roots (d ≤2 mm), and derived plant characteristic indices including thickness of cuticle (CT), thickness of palisade tissue (TPT), thickness of spongy tissue (TST), TPT/TST, thickness of leaf (LT), palisable tissue cell density, and tissue structural tense ratio (CTR = TPT/LT × 100%) and spongy tissue loosened ratio (SR = TST/LT × 100%) of leaf anatomical structure, root to shoot ratio (RSR), leaf transpiration rate (Tr), instantaneous water use efficiency (WUEi), and carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of the 20 shrub species through field experiments. Correlation analysis and principal component analysis were performed on the 19 variables and indices.
Important findings Different shrubs had different mechanisms of drought tolerance. In this study, the characteristics of drought tolerance were mainly categorized into 6 types, involving modifications of (1) root systems, (2) leaf anatomical structure, (3) leaf pattern, and (4) biomass allocation, or via (5) low water-consumption and (6) high WUEi. Different genera or different tree species within the same genus clearly differed in drought tolerance. The species of the genus Hippophae were relatively poorly tolerant to drought, whereas several shrubs including Potentilla fruticosa, Berberis julianae, Caragana arborescens, Spiraea salicifolia and Hippophae rhamnoides ssp. mongolica occurred to be more drought tolerant than other shrub species investigated in this study. On the other hand, there were highly significant correlations among the characteristics of root systems and among characteristics of leaf anatomical structure. The results of principal component analysis on 19 variables and indices showed that TRL, TRSA, TRV, TRTN, FRL, FRSA, FRV, FRTN, CT, TPT, TST and WUEi could be effective indicators of drought tolerance of shrubs in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. In addition, the drought tolerance of shrubs had a close connection with their origin of collections; the shrubs collected from Xining prefecture in Qinghai Province were more drought tolerant than those from Tianshui Prefecture in Gansu and Lasa Prefecture in Xizang.

No related articles found!
Full text



[1] Wen Yuan-ying;Wang Shu-xiu;Wang Lei and Hu Chang-xu. A Preliminary Study of the Constituents of Essential Oil of Osyris wightiana[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1991, 8(01): 49 -50 .
[2] Cai Ji-jiong and Wang Zi-qing. A Preliminary Report on Pollen Morphology and Constituent of Pinus massoniana[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1988, 5(03): 167 -169 .
[3] Liu Ming-jian Wang Jing-min Du Nai-qun and Kong Zhao-chen. A Preliminary Study on the Environmentae Changes in Huayin County, Shanxi Province Since Pleistocene Based on Pollen Analysis[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1984, 2(01): 51 -54 .
[4] Suxia Xu;Liangsheng Wang;Qingyan Shu;Minghua Su;Qingyun Huang;Wenhui Zhang;Gongshe Liu . Progress of Study of the Biology of the Resource Plant Bougainvillea[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2008, 25(04): 483 -490 .
[5] . Advances on Plant Science Research in China in 2005[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2006, 23(3): 225 -241 .
[6] Yonghua Yin;Daosen Guo;Boguang Zhao;Xihua Du;Zuntian Zhao;Ronggui Li. Primary Study on the Toxins Secreted by Pseudomonas fluorescens Primary Study on the Toxins Secreted by Pseudomonas fluorescens[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2007, 24(02): 147 -153 .
[7] Haiyong Liang Xiuying Xia Xiaorong Gao Qiao Su. Vector Construction with UGPase and anti4CL, and Their Expression in Transgenic Tobacco[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2007, 24(04): 459 -464 .
[8] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2000, 17(专辑): 2 -02 .
[9] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1996, 13(专辑): 98 .
[10] Huang Jian-hui Han Xing-guo. A Review on the Bcogeochemical Cycling in Forest Ecosystems:Theories and Methods[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(专辑2): 195 -223 .