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Table of Content
    Volume 39 Issue 11
    01 November 2015

    Scenery of a Populus euphratica woodland in the lower reach of the Tarim River. Based on the remote sensing information of Landsat 8 OLI, Zhu et al. identified the major vegetation types in the lower reach of the Tarim River, derived the leaf area indices for the P. euphratica woodlands and the Tamarix thickets, and analyzed the spatial structural characteristics of riparian vegetation in the lower reach of the Tarim River (Pages 1053–1061 of this issu

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    Orginal Article
    Effects of tree species on soil organic carbon density: A common garden experiment of five temperate tree species
    WANG Xin-Qi,WANG Chuan-Kuan,HAN Yi
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1033-1043.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0100
    Abstract ( 571 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (496KB) ( 1228 )   Save
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    Aims Forest trees alter litter inputs, turnover and rhizospheric activities, modify soil physical, chemical and biological properties, and consequently affect soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and carbon sink strength. That how to select appropriate tree species in afforestation, reforestation and management practices is critical to enhancing forest carbon sequestration. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of tree species on SOC density and vertical distributions.Methods A common garden experiment with the same climate, soil, and management history was established in Maoershan Forest Ecosystem Station, Northeast China, in 2004. The experimental design was a completely randomized arrangement with twenty 25 m × 25 m plots, consisting of monocultures of five tree species, including white birch (Betula platyphylla), Manchurian walnut (Juglans mandshurica), Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica), Dahurian larch (Larix gmelinii), and Mongolian pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica), each with four replicated plots. A decade after the establishment (2013-2014), we measured carbon density and related factors (i.e., bulk density, total nitrogen concentration, microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, pH value) in soils of the 0-40 cm depth for these monocultures. Important findings Results showed that tree species significantly influenced the SOC density in the 0-40 cm depth (p < 0.05). SOC density in the 0-10 cm depth varied from 2.79 to 3.08 kg·m-2, in the order of walnut > ash> birch > larch > pine, in the 10-20 cm depth from 1.56 to 2.19 kg·m-2, in the order of pine > walnut > ash > birch > larch, in the 20-30 cm depth from 1.17 to 2.10 kg·m-2, and in the 20-40 cm depth from 0.84 to 1.43 kg·m-2. The greatest SOC density occurred in the birch stands in the 20-40 cm depth. The vertical distributions of SOC density varied with tree species. The percentage of SOC in the 0-10 cm depth over the total SOC in the soil profile was significantly higher in the walnut and larch stands than in others, while the percentage of SOC in the 20-40 cm depth over the total SOC was highest in the birch stands. SOC concentration and soil bulk density differed significantly among the stands of different tree species, and were negatively correlated. SOC density was positively correlated with soil microbial biomass and soil pH in the walnut, ash, and larch stands, and with total nitrogen density in all the stands. We conclude that tree species modifies soil properties and microbial activity, thereby influencing SOC density, and that different patterns of vertical distributions of SOC density among monocultures of different tree species may be attributed to varying SOC controls at each soil depth.

    Foliar stable carbon isotope ratios of Phragmites australis and the relevant environmental factors in marsh wetlands in Tianjin
    CHEN Qing,WANG Yi-Dong,GUO Chang-Cheng,WANG Zhong-Liang
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1044-1052.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0101
    Abstract ( 586 )   HTML ( 6 )   PDF (370KB) ( 1285 )   Save
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    Aims Phragmites australis marshes in Tianjin play an important role in ecosystem functioning. Wetlands of Tianjin municipality have been suffering from serious nitrogen loading, salinization and water shortage. The foliar stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) is a good parameter which records environmental change information associated with the plant growth process, and reflects physiological and ecological responses of plants to environment changes. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of environment stress on the leaf δ13C of P. australis in marsh wetlands in Tianjin municipality.Methods This study was conducted in Qilihai, Beidagang, and Dahuangpu marsh wetlands. We investigated the foliar δ13C of P. australis and sediment properties, and evaluated the relationships between the foliar δ13C and sediment environmental factors. Important findings 1) Foliar δ13C ranged from -26.3‰ to -23.6‰, with an average value of -25.8‰. 2) Sediment water and nitrogen status were the important factors affecting reed foliar δ13C. Foliar δ13C was negatively correlated to sediment relative water content, and positively correlated to sediment total nitrogen and available nitrogen content. In contrast, foliar δ13C was not significantly correlated to sediment salinity and phosphorus content. 3) Leaf δ13C were significantly positively correlated with leaf nitrogen content, and negatively correlated with leaf carbon and nitrogen ratio across all site. However, these relationships were not detected due to the wetland drainage at Qilihai site in August. Wetland drainage changed the plant water and nitrogen balance, and further affected water and nitrogen utilization strategies of P. australis. Moreover, wetland drainage had stronger effects on these processes than nitrogen loading and salinization.

    Spatial pattern of riparian vegetation in desert of the lower Tarim River basin
    ZHU Xu-Chao, YUAN Guo-Fu, SHAO Ming-An, YI Xiao-Bo, DU Tao
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1053-1061.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0102
    Abstract ( 566 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (521KB) ( 960 )   Save
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    AimsRevealing the spatial pattern of riparian vegetation in hyper-arid regions can improve our understanding on the water relations of riparian vegetation in the desert watershed ecosystem, and also can provide valuable scientific guidance for desertification control and water resources management of watershed of the arid region in northwestern China. This research objective is to show the spatial distribution and structures of typical riparian vegetation in hyper-arid desert watershed from regional and overall perspective.Methods Based on Landsat-8 OLI remote sensing images and a large number of field vegetation surveys, the supervised classification method was used to distinguish three main vegetation categories in the lower Tarim River basin: Tamarix thicket, Populus euphratica woodland, and Phragmites australis grassland. The leaf area index (LAI) of Tamarix thickets and Populus euphratica woodlands were inverted by using the remote-sensed LAI inversion empirical model that we developed.Important findings Supervised classification supporting abundant information of ground objects by remote sensing was an effective method to determine desert riparian vegetation categories in arid desert regions. The area was 336.4 km2 for the Populus euphratica woodlands and 405.3 km2 for the Tamarix thickets, respectively. The Tamarix thickets had a wider distribution range while the Populus euphratica woodlands grew near the river channel. The overall LAI of the riparian vegetation was low. The average LAI value was 0.253 for the Tamarix thickets and 0.252 for the Populus euphratica woodlands. The areas of vegetation with the LAI value of less than 0.5 accounted for 92.4% and 90.1% of the total area of the Tamarix thickets and the Populus euphratica woodlands, respectively. The statistic results showed that large spatial variability of the riparian vegetation LAI existed. The spatial variability of the Populus euphratica woodlands was larger than that of the Tamarix thickets. The LAI values of the riparian vegetation had a significant negative exponential relationship with the distances away from the river channel. The LAI values declined rapidly within the distance of 1 km from the river channel and they were generally lower than 0.1 when the distances beyond 1 km, which indicated that the riparian vegetation was mainly distributed within 1 km from both side of the river. This research indicated three basic characteristics of the spatial pattern in riparian vegetation from hyper-arid desert regions, including overall sparse spatial distribution, high spatial variability and negative exponential relationship between LAI and distance away from the river channel.

    Trade-off relationship between root forks and branch angle of Reaumuria songarica on different aspects of slopes
    ZHENG Hui-Ling,ZHAO Cheng-Zhang,XU Ting,DUAN Bei-Bei,HAN Ling,FENG Wei
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1062-1070.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0103
    Abstract ( 450 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (291KB) ( 949 )   Save
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    Aims Root architecture is a major determinant in root spatial distribution and soil searching efficiency, may reflect plant strategies to adapt to the environments. Our objective was to examine the relationship between root forks and branch angle of Reaumuria songarica in response to slope aspects in the northwest of China.Methods The study site was located in desert grasslands on the northern slope of Qilian Mountains, Gansu Province, China. Survey and sampling were carried out along 20 belt transects. It were set up on sites of four different slope aspects at intervals of 30 m vertically from elevation 1940 m of the study area moving upward, 6 plots were set up flatly on site of each belt transect at intervals of 20 m. A handheld GPS was used to record longitude, latitude and altitude of each plot. ArcGIS was used to set up digital elevation model to extract the information of elevation, aspect, and slope for each plot. The traits of plant communities were investigated and 1 individual’s samplings of R. songarica were used to measure the root forks, root length and root branch angle in laboratory in each plot, and biomass of different organs was measured after being dried at 80 °C in an oven. The 120 plots were categorized into groups of south, west, east, and north aspects of slopes, and the linear regression analysis was then used to examine the trade-off relationship between root forks and branch angle in various groups.Important findings The results showed that with the slope aspect turned from south, west, east to north, the density, cover, height, above biomass and soil moisture content of the plant community displayed a pattern of initial increase, while the height, root-shoot ratio, root branch angle of R. songarica displayed a pattern of initial decrease, and the density, specific root length, root forks increase. The number of root forks was negatively associated with the branch angle, but the relationship varied along the aspect gradient (p < 0.05). There was a highly significant negative correlation (p < 0.01) between the root forks and branch angle on north slope and south slope, whereas less significant (p < 0.05) on the east slope and west slope. There is a trade-off relationship between the root forks and link length. In addition, when the slope aspect changed from south to west, east and north, the standardized major axis slope of regression equation in the scaling relationships between root forks and branch angle decrease (p < 0.05), indicating that the root architecture model of R. songarica by diffusion to gather. Consequently, the patterns of resource allocation between root forks and branch angle in different slope habitats reflected the mechanism of environment adaptation under conditions of multiple competitions for resources in plant populations.

    Fine root production of Pinus massoniana plantation and Castanopsis carlesii plantation at different successional stages in subtropical China
    CHEN Yun-Yu,XIONG De-Cheng,HUANG Jin-Xue,WANG Wei-Wei,HU Shuang-Cheng,DENG Fei,XU Chen-Sen,FENG Jian-Xin,SHI Shun-Zeng,ZHONG Bo-Yuan,CHEN Guang-Shui
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1071-1081.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0104
    Abstract ( 405 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (594KB) ( 812 )   Save
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    AimsOur objectives were to determine differences in fine root production, its relationships with environmental factors, and its diameter- and depth-related distribution patterns between plantations of two subtropical tree species differing in successional stages. MethodsPlantation forests of an early-successional species, Pinus massoniana, and a late-successional species, Castanopsis carlesii, in Sanming, Fujian Province, were selected. Fine root production was monitored for two years using minirhizotrons methods. At the same time, environmental factors including monthly air temperature, monthly precipitation, soil temperature, and soil water content were determined.Important findings 1) During the two years, there was significant difference in annual fine root length production between these two forests, with annual production of P. massoniana plantation nearly four times that of C. carlesii plantation. Fine root length production under both forests showed significant monthly dynamics and maximized in summer, a season when most of fine roots were born. 2) Roots of 0-0.3 mm in diameter accounted for the largest proportion of total fine root length production. Fine roots were concentrated mostly at the 0-10 cm soil depth in P. massoniana plantation, but happened mostly at the 30-40 cm soil depth in the C. carlesii plantation. 3) Partial correlation analysis suggested that, monthly fine root production of both forests was significantly correlated with both air temperature and soil temperature, while it had no significant correlation with either rainfall or soil water content. Linear regression analysis illustrated that monthly fine root production was more correlated with air temperature and soil temperature in the P. massoniana plantation than in the C. carlesii plantation. It was concluded that fine root production in the early-successional P. massoniana plantation was not only much higher in amount, but also more sensitive to temperature, than that in the late-successional C. carlesii plantation.

    Senescence mechanisms induced by phloem girdling in Karelinia caspia
    GU Zhu-Yu,TANG Gang-Liang,AI Kebaier Yilahong,TU Erxun Tuerhong
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1082-1092.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0105
    Abstract ( 434 )   HTML ( 0 )   PDF (410KB) ( 648 )   Save
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    AimsSenescence constitutes the final stage of a plant’s organ and tissue development, and is subject to gene control and strict regulation. Plant senescence is largely influenced by carbohydrate content and phloem girdling can induce leaf senescence. Our general objective is to study the effect of stem girdling on physiological conditions in Karelinia caspia. Specifically, we want to know the senescence processes after phloem girdling. In addition, we also want to know the possible mechanisms for the senescence processes. MethodsThree different types of girdling treatments, normal branch, semi-girdling, and full-girdling were performed on K. caspia. Twenty days after girdling, photosynthetic pigments content, photosynthetic rate, soluble sugar content, starch content, abscisic acid (ABA) content, and leaf water potential were measured.Important findings Phloem girdling can largely induce leaf senescence in K. caspia, and the reasons for leaf senescence may be as follows: girdling resulted in carbohydrate accumulation in leaf which subsequently led to “carbon feast” induced leaf senescence; girdling caused ABA accumulation in leaf and then resulted in senescence; girdling decreased water status, which may be another reason for leaf senescence. Compared with natural senescence, girdling induced senescence was a disorder and disorganized process, only a limited physiological process can be controlled by senescence related gene in the girdling induced senescence process. The most important role for carotenoids in the senescence process is to protect the photosynthetic apparatus from being damaged by excess light and reactive oxygen species. Many physiological indicators declined in the semi-girdled K. caspia leaves just like full-girdled leaves, indicating that portion (e.g. half) of the phloem cannot undertake the transport flux which was done by the whole phloem sieve.

    Physiological responses and photo-protective mechanisms of two Rhododendron plants to natural sunlight after long term shading
    HU Wen-Hai,ZHANG Si-Si,XIAO Yi-An,YAN Xiao-Hong
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1093-1100.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0106
    Abstract ( 439 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (440KB) ( 629 )   Save
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    AimsResponses of plants to increased irradiance are governed by two strategies: an increase in the utilization of absorbed light and photo-protective mechanisms. Varied physiological responses to increased irradiance were observed in plant species with differing adaptabilities to light regimes. This research aims to explore the physiological responses and photo-protective mechanisms of two Rhododendron plants to changes in light regimes. MethodsChlorophyll fluorescence parameters and rapid light curves were measured for leaves of R. hybrida (a shade-tolerant species) and R. simsii (a light-loving and shade-tolerant species) following exposure to sunlight for five days after growing in the shade for one year.Important findings Natural sunlight decreased the efficiency of photochemical reaction by reducing the fraction of incident light in photochemical energy utilization and decreased thermal dissipation through regulating energy dissipation in photosystem II (PSII) in the leaves of R. hybrida. As a result, natural sunlight induced the accumulation of excess excitation energy in PSII, and caused photo-inhibition and even photodamage in the leaves of R. hybrida, which was suddenly transferred from long-term shading to sun exposures. The acclimation capacity to changes of growth light regimes was stronger in R. simsii than in R. hybrida, due to a higher capability for photochemical reaction, thermal dissipation and cyclic electron flows around photosystem I in the leaves of R. simsii. Rhododendron simsii could utilize a high fraction of incident light in photochemistry and regulate energy dissipation in PSII to protect the photosynthetic apparatus under both shading and natural sunlight condition. Therefore, high light intensity under natural sunlight did not cause photo-inhibition in R. simsii.

    Effects of calcium fertilizer on yield, quality and related enzyme activities of peanut in acidic soil
    ZHANG Jia-Lei,GUO Feng,MENG Jing-Jing,YU Xiao-Xia,YANG Sha,ZHANG Si-Bin,GENG Yun,LI Xin-Guo,WAN Shu-Bo
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1101-1109.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0107
    Abstract ( 435 )   HTML ( 0 )   PDF (588KB) ( 864 )   Save
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    AimsPeanut (Arachis hypogaea) is one of the calcium (Ca)-like crops. In acidic soil, low soil exchangeable Ca2+ content, which usually is caused by eluviation, can affect peanut pod development, even causes pod unfilled. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of calcium fertilizer on yield, quality and related enzyme activities of peanut in acidic soil.Methods ‘Huayu22’ was used as materials, and field experiments were conducted in Wendeng, Weihai (2013) and Sanzhuang, Rizhao (2014), respectively. Three treatments were carried out, i.e. No Ca-application (T0), 14 kg·667 m-2 fused CaO (T1) and 28 kg·667 m-2 fused CaO (T2). Top 3rd leaves of main stems were harvested to determine the activities of carbon and nitrogen metabolism enzyme every 15 days from anthesis to mature period. Additionally, the pod traits and yield were investigated at harvest time. Uniform dry pods were used to determine the quality of kernel.Important findings Application of calcium fertilizer significantly increased the pod yield of peanut in acid soil. Yield of T1 treatment increased by 26.92% and T2 increased by 21.65% on average at two sites. It might be related to higher pod numbers per plant, higher double kernel rate, and higher plumpness of kernel under T1 and T2 treatment than under T0 treatment. Simultaneously, application of calcium fertilizer also significantly increased the protein and fat content of peanut in acidic soil. The protein content increased 2.02% and the fat content increased 3.01% on average in T1 treatment, respectively. The protein content increased 1.56% and the fat content increased 2.58% in T2 treatment, respectively. Additionally, Calcium fertilizer not only improved the lysine and total amino acid content but also improved oleic/linoleic acid (O/L) ratio of peanut in acidic soil. These might be due to higher activities of glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate synthetase (GOGAT) and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) in the leaves of peanut in acidic soil under T1 and T2 treatments than under T0 treatment. What’s more, the activity of GS of peanut treated with T1 was higher than that treated with T2. Application of Calcium fertilizer also improved the activities of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCase), sucrose synthase (SS) and sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) of peanut at early growing period, but the activities at late growth stage were lower than T0 treatment. Our results demonstrate that the economic performance of 14 kg·667 m-2 fused CaO was the best one among these three treatments applied.

    Recent advance of kin recognition in plant
    LIN Wei-Peng,PENG Li,XIAO Tao-Yan,CAI Kun-Zheng
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2015, 39 (11):  1110-1121.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0108
    Abstract ( 731 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (450KB) ( 1059 )   Save
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    Plants have the ability to discriminate kin members from strangers in competitive interactions and show altruistic behavior towards related individuals. Studies have showed that plants recognize their neighbors and adjust their ecological strategy mainly through leaf volatiles, root secretions and photographic carrier. The target plants can modify their morphological traits (root size, root:shoot ratio, seed numbers etc.) or metabolism characteristics (secondary metabolites, defense-related proteins etc.) when groups of plants shared common resources, so as to minimize competition with close relatives. The density of kin recognition is influenced by environmental conditions. The main reasons for controversial experimental results of kin recognition are associated with plant materials, standard of kin selection, ecological factors and measured indices. Further studies are required to understand the mechanisms of kin interactions in plants from physiological, biochemical, molecular and metabolic levels.

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