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Table of Content
    Volume 43 Issue 5
    20 May 2019
      
    Reviews
    Advances in the study of population genetic diversity at plant species’ margins
    ZHANG Xin-Xin, WANG Xi, HU Ying, ZHOU Wei, CHEN Xiao-Yang, HU Xin-Sheng
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  383-395.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0252
    Abstract ( 1705 )   Full Text ( 14 )   PDF (1059KB) ( 144 )   Save
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    Marginal populations are those at the geographical edge of a species’ distribution. Appropriate evaluation of genetic diversity in marginal populations is of crucial significance for understanding the impacts of climate changes on species expansion or contraction in the post Quaternary glaciations, conservation of genetic resources and exploitation, and peripatric speciation. Here, we discuss the evolutionary mechanisms for maintaining genetic diversity in marginal populations, analyze the role of plant mating system in shaping a plant species’ range and the genetic diversity in marginal populations, assess the difference or similarity in genetic diversity between central and marginal populations and the underlying ecological and evolutionary processes, and discuss the species genetic diversity correlation (SGDC) and the theory underlying such correlations. We proposed that future research includes the use of genome-wide sequences or transcriptome data to study the adaptive differential between leading- and rear-edge populations or between central and marginal populations and the molecular mechanisms of the interactions between the genetic diversity in marginal populations and the species diversity in the resident community of a focal species. This may help to understand the adaptability of marginal populations to local habitats and the ecological and evolutionary processes for SGDC at species’ edges.

    A review on the process of bryophyte karstification
    MENG Wen-Ping, DAI Quan-Hou, RAN Jing-Cheng
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  396-407.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2019.0020
    Abstract ( 537 )   Full Text ( 3 )   PDF (2088KB) ( 167 )   Save
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    Bryophyte participate in karstification is an important part of biokarst process. Numerous studies on bryophyte karstification provide theoretical and technical foundation for restoration and comprehensive management of bare rock in the rocky desertification area. This article systematically reviewed the process (dissolution and sedimentation), mechanism and interaction relationship between bryophyte karstification and habitats. Bryophyte and its biological crusts emerge physical forces such as expansion, curling, freezing and thawing when they are under alternating wet or dry conditions can destroy rock. In addition, their metabolic secretions and H2CO3 formed by respiration, which react with minerals resulting in destruction of the crystal structure, pyrolysis the minerals, further the rock surface disintegrated and the surface morphology changed, the karst landform and the original soil formed. The driving force of bryophyte karstification closely related to plant functional traits, rock properties and habitat. Studies on biokarst need long-term monitoring and long research period. It is recommended to establish a long-term monitoring sites for strengthening examinations on process, internal mechanisms, and interaction relationship with habitat of bryophyte karstification. At the same time, physiological metabolic processes of bryophytes and the relationship with bryophyte karstification should be emphasized. The environmental adaptability of bryophyte and the maintenance mechanism of biodiversity in karst areas need research attention as well.

    Research Articles
    Changes in trade-offs of grassland ecosystem services and functions under different grazing intensities
    TANG Yong-Kang, WU Yan-Tao, WU Kui, GUO Zhi-Wei, LIANG Cun-Zhu, WANG Min-Jie, CHANG Pei-Jing
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  408-417.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0289
    Abstract ( 643 )   Full Text ( 1 )   PDF (1289KB) ( 86 )   Save
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    Aims The Nei Mongol Steppe plays an important role for livestock production, and it has been one of the green ecological shelters for Northern China. Enhancing some ecosystem services (provisioning services) in managing the ecosystems may causes reductions of other services, such as regulating and supporting services. The knowledge on how grazing intensity influence the trade-offs is lacking. Methods In order to find out the optimized grazing regimes, we conducted an experiment on a typical steppe in Xinlin Gol with four grazing intensities (no grazing, light grazing, moderate grazing and heavy grazing) in the Nei Mongol Steppe. Important findings Our results showed that: synergetic, trade-offs and no relationships among different ecosystem services existed in all treatments on the managed steppe system. The trade-offs relationship was found between soil respiration rate and net plant biomass growth, and between biodiversity and net photosynthetic rate. However the synergetic relationships were observed between net plant biomass growth and soil water content, between net plant growth biomass and net photosynthetic rate, and also between grassland evapotranspiration rate and biodiversity. The results indicated soil organic carbon was not related to other ecosystem services and functions. Grazing could weaken the conflicts among the ecosystem services. Moderate grazing intensity maximumize ecosystem services and functions.
    Changes in species-abundance relationships of plant communities with slopes in alpine meadows of Gannan, China
    LI Quan-Di, LIU Min-Xia, XIA Su-Juan, NAN Xiao-Ning, JIANG Xiao-Xuan
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  418-426.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0317
    Abstract ( 352 )   Full Text ( 3 )   PDF (1251KB) ( 61 )   Save
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    Aims The study of species diversity patterns is useful in understanding community structure and resource allocation patterns in the succession process in alpine meadows. The present study aims to explore: 1) the changes in community species-abundance relationships in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau with mountain slopes; and 2) the difference between the abundances of common and rare species, and their roles in the ecological mechanisms. Methods Field investigation was carried out in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau followed by lab analyses in Lanzhou. RAD was used to analyze the difference in environmental factors and plant communities among different slope aspects. Important findings Soil water content increased gradually from the south to north slopes (from 0.18 g·g -1 on the south slope to 0.31 g·g -1 on the north slope), while soil temperature and light intensity showed the opposite trends (from 22.33 ℃ and 744.15 lx on the south slope to 18.13 ℃ and 681.93 lx on the north slope, respectively). The species abundance and species diversity increased, while the slope of species abundance curves decreased from the south to north slopes. Among the six species abundance fitting models, the ecological niche model best explained the species abundance curves followed by the random distribution model. Further analysis showed that the overall resource allocation pattern of species was mainly fixed distribution. In addition, the resource allocation pattern of the rare species was mainly random, while that of the common species was mainly deterministic.
    Effects of nitrogen addition on plant community composition and microbial biomass ecological stoichiometry in a desert steppe in China
    WANG Pan, ZHU Wan-Wan, NIU Yu-Bin, FAN Jin, YU Hai-Long, LAI Jiang-Shan, HUANG Ju-Ying
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  427-436.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2019.0046
    Abstract ( 382 )   Full Text ( 2 )   PDF (1327KB) ( 77 )   Save
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    Aims Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition accelerates soil N cycling, potentially resulting in decoupling of microbial biomass carbon (C):N:phosphorus (P), loss of plant species, and reductions of provision of ecosystem service. Studies on how the changes of elemental balance in microbes affect plant community composition, could provide a new insight for making clear the mechanism of N-induced loss of plant species. Methods We conducted a manipulative N addition experiment in a desert steppe in Ningxia, northwestern China to quantify the changes in plant biomass and species composition over two years. We analyzed the individual effects of microbial biomass C:N:P ecological stoichiometry and the joint effects with other key soil factors on plant community composition. Important findings The responses of plants to N addition appeared species-specific. The biomass of Salsola collina increased substantially; the biomass of Lespedeza potaninii decreased gradually. Other species showed slightly decreasing in biomass although statistically insignificant (p > 0.05). Along the N addition gradient, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson dominance index, and Patrick richness index of the plant community increased initially but decreased over time later. With increase in N addition level, the N content and N:P ratio of the microbial community increased, but the C:N ratio decreased. Plant community composition showed stronger correlations with microbial biomass N content, microbial biomass C:N ratio, microbial biomass N:P, soil NO3 --N concentration, soil NH4 +-N concentration, and the total P content of the soils. Microbial biomass C:N:P ecological stoichiometry explained <3% of the variation in aboveground plant biomass and community diversity index. Surprisingly, the joint influences from microbial biomass C:N:P ecological stoichiometry and other soil properties explained 51% of the variation in plant biomass and 26% of the change in plant community diversity. These results indicate that the effect of microbial biomass C:N:P ecological stoichiometry on plant community was highly related to the effects of other soil properties under N addition.
    Fruit set and seed germination traits of Zygophyllum kaschgaricum
    Aysajan ABDUSALAM, Dilinaer ABULA, ZHANG Kai, Maireyemugu TUERXUN, Kadir ABDULRASHID, LI Ling
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  437-446.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0293
    Abstract ( 380 )   Full Text ( 1 )   PDF (1635KB) ( 38 )   Save
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    Aims Zygophyllum kaschgaricum is a rare and secondary protection plant, which grows in the desert environment in southern Xinjiang, China. At present, this species not only distributes decentralized and fragmentally, but also is low population density and severe ageing of populations in the natural populations. To better understand how this species is adapted to its desert habitat, we studied seed set and its germination characteristics and addressed the following questions. 1) What are the seed set characteristics and water absorption of seeds in different dry storage duration in natural population? 2) What are the seed dormancy and drought stress responses of this species in desert environment? Methods For the seed set and seed germination characters, we compared the natural seed set of each fruit and water absorption characteristics of each seed in the different dry storage duration, seed dormancy and germination and their responses to drought stress, and the adaptive strategies of this species in southern Xinjiang (Taklimakan desert) natural populations were analyzed. Important findings The natural fruit and seed set rate of this species is low and seed abortion rate is high in natural populations. There is significant difference in the water absorption capacity of seeds subjected to different durations of dry storage time (p < 0.001), and water absorption capacity of seeds increases with the extension of dry storage time. The seed germination rate increased with the extension of dry storage time under different temperature conditions. The newly matured seeds germinate under different temperature conditions and light cycle (dark 12 h and light 12 h); The germination rate at high temperature (10/20 ℃, 20/30 ℃) and dark conditions is higher than that at low temperature (10/5 ℃, 5/2 ℃) and light conditions. Seed germination rate at different light and temperature conditions under different GA3 concentration was high, but storage period at low temperature does not promote breaking of dormancy and germination in Z. kaschgaricum seeds. The results suggest that the species has shallow physiological dormancy. Storage at dry environment, high temperature and dark mode conditions, and high concentration (50 mmoloL -1) of GA3 were the most suitable factors to break dormancy and thus promote seed germination of Z. kaschgaricum. Drought stress under the high temperature inhibited seed germination. The rainfall during spring and autumn is the most important factor to control the seed germination rate. However, shallow physiological dormancy and seed germination at spring and autumn characteristics can improve for the seedling viability and population expansion of this Z. kaschgaricum in the desert, which may be an adaptive strategy to drought and high temperature stress of desert environment in Taklimakan (southern Xinjiang), China.
    Effects of topography on leaf functional traits across plant life forms in Xingdou Mountain, Hubei, China
    WANG Jin, ZHU Jiang, AI Xun-Ru, YAO Lan, HUANG Xiao, WU Man-Ling, ZHU Qiang, HONG Jian- Feng
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  447-457.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0228
    Abstract ( 667 )   Full Text ( 7 )   PDF (1391KB) ( 231 )   Save
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    Aims Exploring the effects of topography on leaf functional traits across plant life forms is helpful to understand species diversity maintenance in forests. The objective of this study is to test how leaf traits among trees, shrubs and woody lianas respond to topographic variability distinctly. Methods Five leaf functional traits (leaf area, leaf thickness, leaf dry mass, leaf dry matter content and specific leaf area) were measured for 224 woody plant species with contrasting life forms (trees, shrubs and woody lianas) across 50 plots of evergreen and deciduous broadleaved mixed forests in Xingdou Mountain, Hubei Province, China. The variation in leaf functional traits of trees, shrubs and woody lianas were analyzed by one-way ANOVA. We tested the significance of the effect of topographic variability on leaf functional traits of woody plants by Partial Mantel test at community level and species level, respectively. Important findings The coefficient of variation of leaf functional traits in different life forms ranged from 23.42% to 110.45%, and there were significant differences in leaf functional traits among different life forms. At the community level, there was a significant positive correlation between altitude and tree leaf dry mass, shrub leaf area and woody liana leaf thickness. Slope only had significant influences on shrub and woody liana leaf area, and slope aspect had significant effects on shrubs leaf thickness. There was a significant positive correlation between leaf dry mass and specific leaf area. At the species level, the effects of slope and slope aspect on plant leaf functional traits were more significant than those of altitude, and the sensitivity in the responses of functional traits to topographic variation was not consistent across different species. After controlling for the effects of spatial structure, the effects of topographic factors on functional traits of plant leaves were reduced. The results showed that the responses of leaf functional traits to topographic variation were different in different life forms, which might be one of the major mechanisms maintaining plant diversity in the evergreen and deciduous broadleaved mixed forests of Xingdou Mountain.
    Reuse of retranslocated nutrients in tissues of Chinese fir in plantations of different ages
    LÜ Zhong-Cheng, KANG Wen-Xing, HUANG Zhi-Hong, ZHAO Zhong-Hui, DENG Xiang-Wen
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2019, 43 (5):  458-470.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0212
    Abstract ( 270 )   Full Text ( 0 )   PDF (1090KB) ( 181 )   Save
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    Aims The purpose of this study is to investigate the reuse characteristics of nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium) in Cunninghamia lanceolata with different ages, and therefore provide scientific support for better management of the high-yield plantations in China. Methods We estimated the nutrient retranslocation from dying branches and leaves according to nutrient concentration differences between living and dead, and the amount of dead branches and leaves in Chinese fir forests of different age classes in Hunan Huitong. Based on the difference in the nutrient concentrations of Chinese fir organs at the beginning and end of each age class, the nutrient transport amount from “biomass produced before the beginning of a given age class, which is still alive at the end of the age class” (referred as “biomass-still-alive” hereafter) was estimated for the age class. The nutrient utilization characteristics in forest production were comprehensively analyzed by combining the nutrients transferred from dying branches and leaves with those transferred from the biomass still alive and absorbed from the soil. Important findings The results showed that the annual biomass produced by the retranslocated nutrients of dying branches and leaves and their proportion in the total biomass were 217 kg·hm -2·a -1 and 3.52%, respectively, for forests 1-7 years old, and increased to 2 540 kg·hm -2·a -1and 17.50%, respectively, when forests reached 20-25 years old. The biomass produced by the retranslocated nutrients of dying branches and leaves and its proportion in the total biomass increased with the increase of forest age. The average annual biomass produced by the biomass-still-alive in stands of 12-16, 17-20 and 21-25 years old was 385, 561 and 450 kg·hm -2·a -1, accounting for 3.40%, 3.40% and 3.11% of the total biomass production, respectively. The nutrient retranslocation from the biomass-still-alive first increased and then decreased with the increase of forest age, and the proportion of the biomass produced by these nutrients to the total biomass showed a decreasing trend with the increase of forest age. The results show that the death of branches and leaves always results in reuse of retranslocated nutrients. On the other hand, the reuse of retranslocated nutrients from the biomass-still-alive occurs only after canopy closure. The mechanism of nutrient redistribution and storage, the growth pattern and the nutrient demand and utilization efficiency at different growth stages of Chinese fir jointly regulate and control the annual changes of nutrient retranslocation before branches and leaves die and the reuse of retranslocated nutrients from the biomass-still-alive.

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