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Table of Content
    Volume 39 Issue 2
    01 February 2015

    A landscape of Zostera marina seagrass bed in Swan Lake of Rongcheng city, Shandong Province, China, where Liu et al. developed the assessing establishment success and suitability analysis of Z. marina transplants using staple method in northern lagoons (Pages 176–183 of this issue) (Photographed by ZHANG Pei-Dong).

      
    Orginal Article
    Reconstruction of disturbance history of a typical broad-leaved Pinus koraiensis forest and mechanisms of disturbance occurrence
    ZHU Liang-Jun,JIN Guang-Ze,WANG Xiao-Chun
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  125-139.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0013
    Abstract ( 512 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (972KB) ( 1568 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    The primary broad-leaved Pinus koraiensis forests in China are almost completely lost due to human and natural disturbances in recent years. Hence, it is critical to quantify disturbance regimes in their typical distribution areas. The aims of this study were to: (1) develop the disturbance chronology in a typical broad-leaved P. koraiensis forest in Xiaoxing’an Mountain; (2) investigate the disturbance characteristics of forest gaps; and (3) explore the possible mechanisms of disturbances.

    <i>Methods</i>

    A total of 461 incremental cores in P. koraiensis and 145 cores in Abies nephrolepis were collected from 44 forest gaps in a 6 hm2 permanent monitoring plot. Two disturbance chronologies were developed respectively for P. koraiensis and A. nephrolepis by detecting growth release with boundary-line release criteria. The significant disturbance period was identified by the multi-taper method (MTM) of spectral analysis. In addition, the disturbance mechanisms were evaluated by the superposed epoch analysis (SEA) between percentage growth changes in the two tree species and wind speed, extreme temperatures and sunspot numbers by using the EVENT program.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    The variations of percentage growth changes (GC) in P. koraiensis and A. nephrolepis at the edges of forest gap were similar to those in closed canopy. However, there are apparent differences in GC among different gaps; the forest gap disturbance and its impact varied greatly. The strong growth release in P. koraiensis occurred in the periods 1733-1738, 1748-1752, 1769-1771, 1798-1801, 1827-1833, 1841-1844, 1935-1939, and 1968-1973, with significant disturbance peaks in 1752, 1770, 1800, 1830, 1842, 1937, and 1970. The growth release in A. nephrolepis occurred in the periods 1889-1904, 1932-1938, 1947-1973, and 1986-2005, with significant disturbance peaks in 1894, 1934, 1951, 1968 and 1990. The disturbances occurred at intervals of 2.0 a, 3.5 a, 3.8 a, 7.3-7.9 a, and 9.1-18.2 a in P. koraiensis, and of 3.5-3.6 a, 7.5-48.8 a, and 65-85 a in A. nephrolepis. Wind was a major mode of disturbances for producing forest gaps and resulting in tree growth releases in the primary broad-leaved P. koraiensis forest in the Xiaoxing’an Mountain. In addition, extreme temperatures could also affect the regime of tree growth release in this region. Solar activity may be another important mechanism of forest gap disturbance and tree growth release in the primary broad-leaved P. koraiensis forest; it affects the forest gap dynamics by changing local wind speed, air temperature, precipitation, and other large-scale climate patterns in the Xiaoxing’an Mountain.

    Biomass carbon density and carbon sequestration capacity in seven typical forest types of the Xiaoxing’an Mountains, China
    HU Hai-Qing,LUO Bi-Zhen,WEI Shu-Jing,WEI Shu-Wei,SUN Long,LUO Si-Sheng,MA Hong-Bin
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  140-158.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0014
    Abstract ( 630 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (876KB) ( 1361 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    Forests are the world’s largest carbon (C) pool and sink among the terrestrial ecosystems. The amount of C in vegetation plays an important role in the global C cycle and balance. Our objectives were to assess C density and sequestration capacity in seven typical forest types of the Xiaoxing’an Mountains, Heilongjiang Province, China and to understand the implication of the C sink to the regional C budget and future forest C management.

    <i>Methods</i>

    Field surveys were combined with laboratory analysis and allometric equations for obtaining data for a variety of variables. Seven typical forest types in the Xiaoxing’an Mountains were studied based on age groups and plant functional groups (trees, shrubs, herbaceous and litter), including Pinus koraiensis, Larix gmelinii, Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica, Picea-Abies, Betula platyphylla, Quercus mongolica, and Populus davidiana forests. Surveys were made on C density and annual carbon gains in trees, understory shrubs, herbaceous plants and litter for each forest type. The forest stands were classified into age groups for estimating the biomass and C density of the study area.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    The C density of the seven forest types in different age groups varied widely. The C density per unit area for young, middle-aged, near mature and mature forests of each forest type were as follows: 31.4, 74.7, 118.4 and 130.2 t·hm-2 in Pinus koraiensis; 28.9, 44.3, 74.2 and 113.3 t·hm-2 in L. gmelinii; 22.8, 52.0, 71.1 and 92.6 t·hm-2 in Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica; 23.1, 44.1, 77.6 and 130.3 t·hm-2 in Picea-Abies; 18.8, 35.3, 66.6 and 88.5 t·hm-2 in B. platyphylla; 25.0, 20.0, 47.4 and 68.9 t·hm-2 in Q. mongolica; and 19.8, 28.7, 43.7 and 76.6 t·hm-2 in Populus davidiana forests, respectively. These results show that biomass C stocks in the Xiao- xing’an Mountains play an important role in the C cycle and regional C balance. Different forest types and stands of different age groups varied greatly in C stocks. Because most growth in the seven forest types occurs in the young and middle-aged forest stands, these age groups are considered to have a great potential to increase the biomass C density. This significant C sink will be further enhanced in the Xiaoxing’an Mountains with the development and restoration designed to provide specific ecological services including C sequestration.

    Spatial changes and influencing factors of fine root carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus stoichiometry of plants in China
    MA Yu-Zhu,ZHONG Quan-Lin,JIN Bing-Jie,LU Hong-Dian,GUO Bing-Qiao,ZHENG Yuan,LI Man,CHENG Dong-Liang
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  159-166.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0015
    Abstract ( 595 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (214KB) ( 1584 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    Fine roots and leaves are important below- and above-ground functional organs. It is widely recognized that leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stoichiometry displays significant latitudinal variations, and two competing theories (i.e. Temperature-Plant Physiological Hypothesis and Growth Rate Hypothesis) have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. Although considerable efforts have been made to test these theories, comparatively few data have been reported for the plants in China to examine the latitudinal and longitudinal variations in fine root carbon (C), N and P stoichiometry. Accordingly, we compiled an extensive data set of root C, N and P stoichiometry, our objective was to address three main issues: (1) whether the C, N and P stoichiometric latitudinal patterns for roots conform to those reported for leaves, (2) how exactly does root C, N and P stoichiometry changes as a function of longitude, and (3) whether the Temperature-Plant Physiological Hypothesis or Growth Rate Hypothesis can account for the latitudinal patterns observed for fine root stoichiometry.

    <i>Methods</i>

    We compiled data on fine root C, N and P contents, climate, and geographic location, and analyzed the correlations among these variables.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    The N and P contents were higher in fine roots as opposed to coarse roots. The N and P contents in fine roots increased with increasing latitude. P content in fine roots declined with increasing longitude, whereas the N:P of fine roots increased with increasing longitude. The N and P contents in fine roots were negatively correlated with mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation, but positively correlated with soil nutrient. Among the three abiotic factors (i.e. soil N and P contents, temperature and precipitation), soil N and P levels had the greatest effect on the N and P contents in fine roots . The variations observed in fine and coarse root C:P and N:P were inconsistent with the Growth Rate Hypothesis, whereas the positive correlations between root N and P contents and latitude were the same as those observed for leaves, which support Temperature-Plant Physiological Hypothesis, reflecting an adaptive strategy to environmental conditions.

    Comparison of different treatments of rare species in canonical correspondence analysis
    CAO Jing,MIAO Yan-Ming,FENG Fei,XU Qiang,ZHANG Qin-Di,BI Run-Cheng
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  167-175.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0016
    Abstract ( 618 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (413KB) ( 2218 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    Rare species can indicate certain ecological significance. Studies of rare species on plant community structure and composition were still insufficient. Our objective was to compare the results of three different treatments, eliminating, downweighting and untreated rare species in canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), and to verify the influences of rare species.

    <i>Methods</i>

    For assessing the impact of different treatments CCA, different data of plant communities and environment from southern Lüliang Mountain, eliminating rare species, downweighting rare species, and untreated data sets, were used in the CCA analyses, respectively. Spearman rank correlation coefficient was taken to test the correlation of corresponding ordination axis.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    The performances of three methods were basically the same when the number of environmental factors was less. But some differences were existed on the explanation tendency for each environmental factor. Base on the correlation analyses, the consistency of untreated CCA and downweighting rare species CCA was better than that of eliminating rare species CCA and downweighting rare species CCA. If the correlation analysis was based on quadrat coordinates of environmental data only, the correlation between eliminating rare species CCA and downweighting of rare species CCA was a little higher. For the first four axes, untreated CCA and the downweighting rare species CCA were correlated significantly and correspondingly. If the analysis were based on environmental and species data, eliminating rare species CCA and the downweighting rare species CCA were significantly correlated for the three first corresponding axes. However, the correlation based on species data only showed insignificant for the first four corresponding axes. Considering the interpretation quantity of species-environment variance, the downweighting rare species is the best method in the three treatments. Three methods are arranged in the order for accurately reveal species and environment relations as follows: downweighting rare species CCA, untreated CCA and eliminating rare species CCA.

    Assessing establishment success and suitability analysis of Zostera marina transplants using staple method in northern lagoons
    LIU Yan-Shan,GUO Dong,ZHANG Pei-Dong,ZHANG Xiu-Mei,ZENG Xing,ZHANG Ying
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  176-183.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0017
    Abstract ( 455 )   HTML ( 0 )   PDF (349KB) ( 905 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    Zostera marinapopulations in northern China are rapidly declining due to both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Efforts to prevent further losses and restore disturbed Z. marinahabitats through transplanting are desirable. In this study, a transplanting experiment was conducted using the staple method in Swan Lake, which is a typical lagoon in the Rongcheng region of Shandong Peninsula, China. The objectives of this research are to: 1) investigate the plant response in terms of survivorship, morphology, and growth; 2) assess the establishment success of transplants; and 3) analyze the suitability of applying staple method in northern China.

    <i>Methods</i>

    Ninety planting units (PUs, 3 shoots/PU) with 4-6 leaves and about 10 cm rhizome on each shoot were monthly transplanted using the staple method in the subtidal zone of Swan Lake (water depth 0.5 m) from April to September 2009. Ten replicated plots of 50 cm × 50 cm were set up and nine PUs were randomly planted in each plot. Survival rate was calculated as the percentage of PUs that survived. Shoot morphology and individual shoot biomass of transplants and reference plants in the donor bed were monthly monitored from May to December 2009.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    Survival rate of transplants planted during spring (April, May, and June) ranged from 76.5% to 90.4% with the minimum value in April; whereas the survival rate of transplants planted during summer (July, August, and September) was 100%. The time required for the establishment of transplants was on average 1.0 month when planted from June to September, 2.0 months when planted in May, and 4.0 months when planted in April. With exception of some monitoring months, the leaf length and sheath length of transplants were significantly lower than those of reference plants; whereas no significant differences were found in rhizome diameter and root length between transplants and reference plants. Habitat suitability analysis showed that transplanting site should be chosen in shallow subtidal zone (water depth <1 m) with high transparency and high-silted sandy mud sediment. September was suggested as the most effective transplanting season off the coast of northern lagoons in China.

    Application of stable hydrogen isotope in study of water sources for Caragana microphylla bushland in Nei Mongol
    ZHENG Xiao-Ran,ZHAO Guo-Qin,LI Xiao-Yan,LI Liu,WU Hua-Wu,ZHANG Si-Yi,ZHANG Zhi-Hua
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  184-196.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0018
    Abstract ( 521 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (744KB) ( 965 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    Caragana microphylla is a dominant shrub widely distributed in the grasslands of Nei Mongol. Its water utilization pattern has an important effect on local plant community composition. However, the water source for C. microphylla remains poorly quantified, which is vital in understanding the adaptation of this specie to arid environment. This study aims to investigate the dynamics of water use in C. microphylla and its response to soil water fluctuations resulting from precipitation pattern including summer rains and winter snow.

    <i>Methods</i>

    Seasonal variations of hydrogen stable isotope ratios (δD) in the xylem of C. microphylla and potential sources of water (summer rains, winter snow and soil water) were analyzed by LGR hydrogen stable isotope tracer method. The contribution of soil water to C. microphylla was calculated by IsoSource model and the contribution of rainfall to soil water was calculated by a two-source model.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    The xylem of C. microphylla (xylem) showed no seasonal differences in δD, whereas there were significant differences in the water source of plants between two contrasting hydrological environments. In habitats where rainfall was shielded off, C. microphylla mainly used the soil water at depth of 0-20 cm, which accounted for 73.30% ± 16.14% of the total water usage; whilst under natural conditions, water uptake by C. microphylla was more or less similar at the depths of 0-20 cm, 20-60 cm and 60-100 cm, accounting for 34.66% ± 7.83%, 32.44% ± 7.42%, 32.90% ± 4.14% of the total water usage, respectively. Competition for water between shrubs and grasses gave a possible explanation for different water utilization patterns of the plants. In addition, rainfall accounted for 42.65%-63.92% of the water sources for C. microphylla. Resultsin this study demonstrated that C. microphylla used both summer rains and winter snow, and dynamics of water use in C. microphylla reflects its adaptation to the water-limiting arid environment.

    Respiration rates of stems at different heights and their sensitivity to temperature in two broad-leaved trees in Beijing
    HAN Feng-Sen,HU Dan,WANG Xiao-Lin,ZHOU Hong-Xuan
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  197-205.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0019
    Abstract ( 472 )   HTML ( 0 )   PDF (442KB) ( 812 )   Save
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    <i>Aims</i>

    Woody-tissue respiration (Rw) is well known to be a large component of the terrestrial ecosystem carbon balance. In order to quantify the intra- and inter-specific variations in stem respiration, investigations were made on the temporal and vertical variations in Rw in order to reveal the vertical pattern and the regulatory mechanisms of the temperature-sensitivity coefficient (Q10).

    <i>Methods</i>

    CO2 release rates and stem temperature were measured in two typical deciduous species (Sophora japonica and Salix matsudana) from March through December 2013 in a suburban park in Beijing. All measurements were carried out at three heights (10 cm, 140 cm and 270 cm) corresponding to the base, breast height and first branch of the trees.

    <i>Important findings</i>

    It was found that the stem respiration differed significantly between the two tree species. The Rw in Sophora japonica was 1.12 (July) to 1.79 (May) times of that in Salix matsudana for the same months except in April. Clear diurnal cycles and strong seasonal variations were found in the stem respiration per unit surface area (RS). The seasonal variation patterns of Rw were unimodal for both species; however, the peak month differed between the two species, i.e. July ((5.13 ± 0.24) μmol·m-2·s-1) for Sophora japonica and August ((3.85 ± 0.17) μmol·m-2·s-1) for Salix matsudana. Stem respiration during the growing season (July and August) was high- er than in the dormant season (November and December); whereas the seasonal variations of Q10 showed opposite trend, i.e. higher in the dormant season than during the growing season. RW increased and the diel patterns of Rw varied with height; the pattern of stem respiration was unimodal for trunk and diauxie for branches, respectively. Stem temperature was found to be the dominant factor regulating the diurnal dynamics of stem respiration at a daily scale. In addition, Q10 higher at the top than at the base. Stem temperature and Q10 collectively determined the temporal and vertical patters of stem respiration. During the growing months, daily accumulated respiration per volume of woody tissue (mmol·m-3·d-1) was linearly related to the inverse of stem diameter measured at breast height. The level of respiration was better expressed on area base (μmol·m-2·s-1) for comparisons among individuals and examination of temporal and spatial variations of the same individual. Therefore, the spatial and temporal variability of Rw should be considered in the construction of city forest carbon budget model so as to reduce the estimation error.

    A review of research on responses of leaf traits to climate change
    WANG Chang-Shun,WANG Shi-Ping
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (2):  206-216.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0020
    Abstract ( 841 )   HTML ( 12 )   PDF (370KB) ( 1828 )   Save
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    Leaf traits reflect the highly adaptable and self-regulatory capacity of plants to complex environmental conditions. That how they respond to climate change is one of key topics in studies of plant adaptability. This review synthesizes the current understanding on the responses of leaf size, specific leaf mass, leaf nitrogen content and carbon isotopes to climate change. The responses of leaf traits to climate change vary with different leaf structures and ecological properties. Thus, a single leaf trait cannot be used to fully reflect the responses of plants to climate change. There are still a lot of uncertainties concerning the effects of climate change on leaf traits under different scales. Studies are relatively lacking in the alpine region. This review helps us to better understand the relationships between leaf traits and climate as well as the responses and adaptation of plants to climate change. It is critical to predict the variations and evolutionary strategies of plants in response to future climate change.


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