Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (10): 1040-1049.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0119

Special Issue: 青藏高原植物生态学:种群生态学

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Allometric relations for biomass partitioning of seven alpine Rhododendron species in south of Gansu

CHEN Guo-Peng1,*(), YANG Ke-Tong1, WANG Li1, WANG Fei2, CAO Xiu-Wen2, CHEN Lin-Sheng3   

  1. 1College of Forestry, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2Institute of Forestry, Bailongjiang Forestry Administration, Lanzhou 730070, China
    3Institute of Ecological Monitoring and Forestry Survey and Planning, Bailongjiang Forestry Administration, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2020-04-24 Accepted:2020-08-22 Online:2020-10-20 Published:2020-11-02
  • Contact: CHEN Guo-Peng
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31800352);Institutions of Higher Learning Scientific Research Project in Gansu Province(2017A-032)


Aims Biomass-partitioning patterns influences the growth and reproduction of individual plant, and the mass and energy flow of a plant community. Revealing the biomass-partitioning patterns of alpine shrubs can help understand their life-cycle strategies and the uncertainty of shrub carbon sink.
Methods In this study, the biomass-partitioning ratio and allometric relations of each organ at individual level were analyzed in seven typical evergreen shrub species in Rhododendron in alpine-subalpine of southern Gansu using whole-plant harvesting method.
Important findings The results showed that the average fractions of biomass allocation in root, stem and leave for seven Rhododendron species were 35.57%, 45.61% and 18.83%, respectively, with significant differences in fractions of biomass allocation of each among species. There were allometric relations and isometric relations between leaves vs stems, leaves vs roots, stems vs roots, and aboveground biomass vs underground biomass for all species. However, allometric scale did not fully support the reference values of metabolic scaling theory and isometric scaling theory of small plants. There were significant allometric relationships in leaf mass, stem mass and root mass among species. The combination of the optimal partitioning theory and allelotropic theory help better understand the biomass variation and adaptation mechanism of Rhododendron species in mountainous areas in southern Gansu.

Key words: alpine shrub, biomass, optimal partitioning, allometric growth, Rhododendron