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Table of Content
    Volume 42 Issue 8
    20 August 2018
    The samara evolution of “Malpighiaceae Route”. The gray clades in the phylogenetic tree are outgroup and the red, blue, and yellow clades indicate America, Africa, and Asia taxa respectively. Tan et al. reviewed the samara types and its systematic distribution, adaption and evolution in angiosperm, and analyzed the aerodynamic type and dispersal ability of different types of samara and their value in taxonomy (Pages 806–817 of this issue).
      
    Reviews
    Advances in research of Achnatherum inebrians-Epichloë endophyte symbionts
    LI Chun-Jie, YAO Xiang, NAN Zhi-Biao
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  793-805.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0001
    Abstract ( 425 )   HTML ( 65 )   PDF (926KB) ( 274 )   Save
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    Research on drunken horse grass (Achnatherum inebrians)-endophytic fungi (Epichloë gansuensis, E. inebrians) represented an important area of endophyte research in China. Compared with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea)-endophyte (E. coenophiala) in the United States and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)-endophyte (E. festucae var. lolii) in New Zealand, A. inebrians-endophyte research in China is becoming a leading branch of endophyte research. The studies of A. inebrians-endophyte symbionts over the past three decades were reviewed, mainly including endophyte distribution, detection methods, infection rate, fungal diversity, stress tolerances of drought, cold, salt, heavy metal, pest, disease and their mechanisms, secondary metabolite of alkaloids, feeding experiments and its ecological functions etc. Research reveals that drunken horse grass itself has no toxicity, the grazed animals will be intoxicated if the grass bears infection by Epichloë endophytes and produces ergot alkaloids. Future research will focus on E. gansuensis and E. inebrians genomics and endophyte functions. In other research we will create new grass cultivars that are 1) sanitized of the endophyte and non-toxic, 2) utilizing novel endophytes that deter birds feeding and 3) utilizing endophytes that are modified to produce novel fungicides, pesticides or medicines.

    Diversity and evolution of samara in angiosperm
    TAN Ke, DONG Shu-Peng, LU Tao, ZHANG Ya-Jing, XU Shi-Tao, REN Ming-Xun
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  806-817.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0053
    Abstract ( 1001 )   HTML ( 111 )   PDF (2079KB) ( 476 )   Save
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    Samara (winged fruit) can be dispersed easily by wind and may be a crucial factor for angiosperm spread and diversification. In a narrow sense, a samara is an indehiscent dry fruit with wing(s) developed from fruit pericarp, while in a broad sense samaras also include all winged fruits with wings developed from both pericarp and perianth or bracts. According to the wing shape and growth patterns of samaras, we divided samaras into six types, i.e. single-winged, lanceolate-winged, rib-winged, sepal-winged, bract-winged, and perigynous samaras. Perigynous samaras can be further classified into two forms, i.e. round-winged and butterfly-winged samaras. Accordingly, the aerodynamic behavior of samaras can be classified into five types, autogyro, rolling autogyro, undulator, helicopter, and tumbler. The rib-winged and round-winged samaras can be found in Laurales, a basal angiosperm, and may represent the primitive type of early samaras. In the derived clades, samaras evolved enlarged but unequal wings and decreased wing loading (the ratio of fruit weight to wing size), which is likely an adaptation to gentle wind and secondary dispersal through water or ground wind. The wings of some samaras (such as sepal-winged and bract-winged samaras) may have multiple functions including wind dispersal, physical defense for the seeds, and adjust seed germination strategy. The pantropical family Malpighiaceae is extraordinarily rich in samara types, which is likely related to its multiple inter-continent dispersal in history, which is known as “Malpighiaceae Route”. Therefore, Malpighiaceae can be used as a model system for the studies on samara adaptation and evolution. We identified the following issues that deserve further examination in future studies using both ecological and evo-devo methods: 1) the adaption of different types of samaras in dispersal processes, 2) the molecular and developmental mechanism of sepal- and bract-wings, and 3) the evolution of samara types and their effects on angiosperm diversification.

    Research Articles
    Response of plant biomass to nitrogen addition and precipitation increasing under different climate conditions and time scales in grassland
    DIAO Li-Wei,LI Ping,LIU Wei-Xing,XU Shan,QIAO Chun-Lian,ZENG Hui,LIU Ling-Li
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2018, 42 (8):  818-830.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0056
    Abstract ( 1042 )   HTML ( 107 )   PDF (5914KB) ( 390 )   Save
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    Aims Plant biomass accounts for the main part of grassland productivity. The productivity of grassland regarded as one of important ecosystem function is always co-limited by nitrogen and water availability, therefore, how grasslands respond to atmosphic nitrogen (N) addition and precipitation increasing need to be systematically and quantitatively evaluated at different climate conditions and temporal scales.
    Methods To investigate the impact of nitrogen addition and precipitation increasing on grassland biomass over climate conditions and temproal scales, a meta-analysis was conducted based on 46 papers that were published during 1990-2017 involving 1 350 observations.
    Important findings Results showed that: (1) N addtion, precipitation increasing and the combinations of these two treatments significantly increased the aboveground biomass (37%, 41%, 104%), total biomass (32%, 23%, 60%) and the ratio of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass (29%, 25%, 46%) in grassland ecosystem. Belowground biomass showed no response to single N addtion, but could be significantly enhanced together with increaseing precipitation; (2) The response of grassland biomass under these N addtion and the increasing of precipitation showed obvious spatial pattern under different climate conditions. The N addition tended to increase more aboveground biomass, total biomass and the ratio of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass under high sites with high mean annual air temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP) while precipitation increasing tended to simulate more belowground biomass and total biomass under low MAT and MAP sites; (3) In addition, the response of grassland biomass under these two global change index showed obvious temporal pattern. With the increase of duration of N addition, the belowgound biomass tended to decrease, while the aboveground biomass, total biomass and the ratio of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass tended to increase under N addition. With the increase of duration of precipitation manipulation, the total biomass showed no response to precipitation increasing, while aboveground biomass, belowground biomass and the ratio of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass tended to be enhanced. The results indicated that aboveground biomass was more likely to be enhanced than belowground biomass under N addition or precipitation increasing in the long term.

    Current stocks and potential of carbon sequestration of the forest tree layer in Qinghai Province, China
    CHEN Ke-Yu, ZI Hong-Biao, ADE Luji, HU Lei, WANG Gen-Xu, WANG Chang-Ting
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  831-840.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0058
    Abstract ( 619 )   HTML ( 61 )   PDF (1803KB) ( 256 )   Save
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    Aims Our objective was to estimate the carbon storage in the forest tree layer in Qinghai Province, China.
    Methods Based on forest resource inventory data and field investigation data, we estimated the carbon storage, sequestration rate and potentials in the forest tree layer in the Qinghai Province.
    Important findings The carbon density and total carbon storage of forest tree layer in Qinghai Province was 76.54 Mg·hm -2 and 27.38 Tg, respectively, of which four forest types (Picea spp. forest, Cupressus funebris forest, Betula spp. forest and Populus spp. forest) accounted for 86.67% while their areas were 96.23% of total forest areas in Qinghai. The carbon density and carbon storage of Picea spp. forest was 106.93 Mg·hm -2 and 14.78 Tg, respectively, which was the largest among all forest types. The carbon storage of the forest tree layer at different stand ages followed the sequence of over-mature forest > middle-aged forest > mature forest > near-mature forest > young forest. In addition, the carbon storage of forest tree layer in the province increased from 23.30 Tg in 2003 to 27.38 Tg in 2011. The average annual growth of carbon and carbon sequestration rate were 0.51 Tg and 1.06 Mg·hm -2·a -1, respectively. The maximum and minimum of carbon sequestration rate were respectively found in Cupressus funebris forest (0.44 Mg·hm -2·a -1) and Betula spp. forest (-1.06 Mg·hm -2·a -1). The mean carbon sequestration potential reached 8.50 Tg in 2011, with the highest value found in Picea spp. forest (3.40 Tg). These findings suggested high carbon sequestration potential of forest tree layer in Qinghai Province. Therefore, the carbon storage in Qinghai Province could be increased through better forest management and utilization.

    Difference in spatial distribution patterns and population structures of Rhododendron hainanense between both sides of riparian bends
    CHEN Yi-Chao, ZHAO Ying, SONG Xi-Qiang, REN Ming-Xun
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  841-849.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0043
    Abstract ( 304 )   HTML ( 50 )   PDF (871KB) ( 254 )   Save
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    Aims Riparian zone is the intersection of stream and terrestrial ecosystem, which has rich biological diversity. Stream is usually curving because of water flush and topography effect. The flow velocity, sediment properties and plant propagule aggregation are different between inner and outer sides of the bend, which leads to differences in plant population structures and spatial distribution patterns between riparian bends’ both bank. Our aim was to reveal the differences in spatial distribution patterns and population dynamics of Rhododendron hainanense, a shrub endemic to Hainan and Guangxi of China, on each side of a stream.
    Methods Three nature reserves on Hainan Island were chosen as studied sites. In each site, two riparian bends were set as transects. The spatial distribution patterns and population dynamics of R. hainanense were compared for the convex versus concave banks by a method of “variance/mean method”.
    Important findings (1) Rhododendron hainanense populations were at increasing stage on convex banks, but at declining stage on concave banks. (2) Rhododendron hainanense populations were at growing stage on both upstream and downstream of convex banks, but the ages of the individuals on concave banks were not continuous. (3) The number of individuals of each age-class declined away from the top of bend or river bank. (4) At scale of 2 m × 2 m, the individuals showed an aggregation distribution on convex banks and their downstream, but a random distribution on the upstream of convex banks, and on concave banks and their upstream and downstream. The fast flow and steep slopes may be the main reason for the fewer individuals and declining population on concave banks than on convex banks.

    Partitioning of soil respiration components and evaluating the mycorrhizal contribution to soil respiration in a semiarid grassland
    LI Wei-Jing, CHEN Shi-Ping, ZHANG Bing-Wei, TAN Xing-Ru, WANG Shan-Shan, YOU Cui-Hai
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  850-862.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0068
    Abstract ( 732 )   HTML ( 35 )   PDF (2469KB) ( 299 )   Save
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    Aims Soil respiration component partitioning is pivotal to understand the belowground carbon (C) cycle. Mycorrhizal fungi have been proven to play an important role in the soil C turnover, but only a few studies have been conducted to quantify the contribution of mycorrhizal respiration to total soil respiration in grassland ecosystems.
    Methods The mini-trenching mesh method was applied to partition soil respiration components of a semi-arid grassland in Inner Mongolia. A shallow collar (measuring soil total respiration), a deep collar (excluding roots and mycorrhizal hypahe) and a deep collar with 40 μm pore mesh window (excluding roots but not mycorrhizal hyphae) were installed in each plot. Soil respiration rate of each collar was measured every two weeks during the growing season from 2014 to 2016. The differences in the rate of soil respiration among different type of collars were used to partition the components of soil respiration.
    Important findings The results showed that the contribution of heterotrophic, root and mycorrhizal respiration to total soil respiration was 49%, 28%, and 23%, respectively. Across the three years, the proportion of mycorrhizal respiration varied from 21%-26%, which is comparable with the results reported by other studies recently. Our results demonstrated that the mini-trenching mesh method is a suitable method for separating mycorrhizal respiration component in grassland ecosystems. Evaluating the contribution of mycorrhizal respiration to total soil respiration is very important for predicting the responses of soil carbon release to future climate change.

    Effects of transportation direction of photosynthate on soil microbial processes in the rhizosphere of Phyllostachys bissetii
    ZOU Zan, CHEN Jin-Song, LI Yang, SONG Hui-Xing
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  863-872.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0078
    Abstract ( 268 )   HTML ( 42 )   PDF (1377KB) ( 200 )   Save
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    Aims Clonal integration contributes greatly to the adaption of clonal plants to heterogeneous habitats. However, effects of transportation direction of photosynthate on microbial processes need to be further investigated in the rhizosphere. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of directional differences in photosynthate transport on microbial processes in the rhizosphere of clonal plant Phyllostachys bissetii.
    Methods By removing the aboveground parts of the ramets, acropetal treatment and basipetal treatment were applied in this study to control the transportation direction of photosynthate. In acropetal treatment, aboveground parts of distal ramets were cut off (with 20 cm above ground kept), and proximal ramets were left intact. While in basipetal treatment, aboveground parts of proximal ramets were cut off (with 20 cm above ground kept), and distal ramets were left intact. Rhizomes between the two ramets were either connected or severed. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) availabilities, and enzyme activities in the rhizosphere soils were measured.
    Important findings In acropetal treatment, total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and soil inorganic nitrogen (NH4 +-N and NO3 --N) content in the rhizosphere soil of distal ramets with connected rhizomes were significantly higher than those with severed rhizome. The activities of urease, polyphenol oxidase (POXase), N-acetyl-β-D-Glucosaminidase (NAGase) were significantly enhanced. Further, clonal integration had a significant effect on C and N availability, and microbial processes in the rhizosphere soil of neighbouring ramets. In basipetal treatment, clonal integration did not show a significant effect on C availability in the rhizosphere soil of proximal ramets, but microbial processes along with soil enzyme activities were altered accordingly. Effects of transportation direction of photosynthate on microbial processes in the rhizosphere of P. bissetii provides insights into the adaptation mechanisms of clonal plant populations.

    Distribution pattern and influencing factors of soil salinity at Tamarix cones in the Taklimakan Desert
    DONG Zheng-Wu, ZHAO Ying, LEI Jia-Qiang, XI Yin-Qiao
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (8):  873-884.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0060
    Abstract ( 587 )   HTML ( 51 )   PDF (8854KB) ( 263 )   Save
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    Aims The Tamarix cone is a coppice dune, which is a specific bio-geographical phenomenon in the Taklimakan Desert, helpful for stabilizing and maintaining the structure and function of desert ecosystems. This study aims to investigate the soil salinity of Tamarix cones at different sites.
    Methods Tamarix cones were selected to investigate the spatial variations of soil salinity. Soil samples (0- 500 cm) were collected for soil pH, and electrical conductivity (EC), HCO3 -, Cl -, SO4 2-, Ca 2+, Mg 2+, K + and Na + content analysis.
    Important findings 1) From Qiemo to Aral, Qira and Tazhong, soil pH generally increased, soil litter content decreased first and then increased, soil electrical conductivity (EC), Na +, Ca 2+, Mg 2+ and SO4 2- content decreased, and K +、Cl -、HCO3 -content had no obvious change. 2) For the distribution layer, salt accumulation in the upper soil was significant within the Qiemo and Qira of Tamarix cones, and within the Aral and Tazhong, there was a significant pattern of salt accumulation along the soil profile. However, with increasing soil depth, soil pH generally increased and soil litter content decreased, soil EC at Qiemo and Qira generally decreased, and soil EC content showed the trend of decrease-increase-decrease at Aral, and the trend of increase-decrease-increase at Tazhong. 3) Correlation analysis and principal component analysis showed that soil litter content, SO4 2-, K + and Na + content mainly affected soil salt content at Qiemo, where soil salt was mainly composed of sulfate. The major ion was Cl -, Na +at Aral, Cl -, Na + and K +at Qira, and Cl -, Na +, Ca + and SO4 2-at Tazhong. Therefore, soil salinity at Tamarix cones had an obvious spatial variability among different habitats. Soil salinity variation at Tamarix cones were closely related to the intensive evaporation, wind erosion, groundwater depth, litter content and the salinity of Tamarix chinensis, which was the key factor affecting the distribution of soil salinity at different sites.


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