Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 231-237.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0053

Special Issue: 青藏高原植物生态学:数据论文 植被生态学

• Data Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Distribution, community characteristics and classification of Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China

Xian-Guo QIAO1,2, Ke GUO1,2,*(), Li-Qing ZHAO3, Chang-Cheng LIU1, Hai-Wei ZHAO1,2, Dong-Jie HOU1,2, Chen-Guang GAO1,2   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China

    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

    3College of Life Science, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China
  • Received:2016-01-30 Accepted:2016-07-19 Online:2017-02-10 Published:2017-03-16
  • Contact: Ke GUO
  • About author:KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe is the most typical formation of desert steppe in China. Based on the primary plots data obtained from fieldworks during the growing seasons from 2010 to 2016 as well as some earlier records, we studied the Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe across China systematically, including the eco-geographical distributions, community characteristics and classifications. The results showed that S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe distributed mainly on the Ulan Qab Plateau and western Xilin Gol Plateau. Due to the arid biotope of S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe, quantitative characteristics of the assemblage including height, coverage, biomass and species richness were normally lower than that of most Stipa formations in Eurasian steppe region. Moreover, 165 seed plants belonging to 85 genera and 29 families were recorded in the 80 study sites, in which rare species (occurrence frequency <20%) made up 87% of the total plants while common species and constant species could only be found occasionally. Species with the occurrence frequency exceeding 50% included S. tianschanica var. klemenzii, Convolvulus ammannii, Cleistogenes songorica, Allium tenuissimum. In addition, Hemicryptophyte and therophyte were the two dominant life forms, covering 55% and 20% of the species, respectively. As for the ecological type of water, typical xerophytes accounted for 47% of all species which is followed by super-xerophytes and meso-xerophytes. Middle Asian areal-type and east Palaeo-North areal-type were the two major floristic elements, containing 37% and 26% of the species, respectively. Based on the life forms and dominances of the species within the community, S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China could be classified into 6 association groups, 29 associations.

Key words: bunch grass steppe, life-form spectrum, floristic geographic elements, community classification