Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (12): 1292-1302.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0230

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of root-cutting in the vegetative phase on plant functional traits of Leymus chinensis

DAI Jing-Zhong1, BAI Yu-Ting2, WEI Zhi-Jun3, ZHANG Chu4, YAN Rui-Rui4,*()   

  1. 1College of Agriculture and Forestry Engineering and Planning, Tongren University, Tongren, Guizhou 554300, China
    2Shandong Key Laboratory of Eco-Environmental Science for Yellow River Delta, Binzhou University, Binzhou, Shandong 256603, China
    3College of Grassland, Resources and Environment, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010019, China
    4Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2021-06-21 Accepted:2021-07-25 Online:2021-12-20 Published:2021-09-29
  • Contact: YAN Rui-Rui
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(2021YFF0703904);Fundamental Research Funds for Central Non-profit Scientific Institution(Y2020YJ19);Fundamental Research Funds for Central Non-profit Scientific Institution(1610132021016);Construction of Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Alliance-Agriculture Basic Long-Term Scientific and Technological Work(NAES037SQ18)


Aims We investigated root-cutting impacts on functional traits of leaves and stems of Leymus chinensis in the vegetative phase in a meadow in Hulun Buir. The aims are to understand the response mechanism of L. chinensis under the disturbance and to provide a references for the restoration of natural mowing grasslands.

Methods A ground intrusive root-cutting machine (9QP-830) was used to cut roots of L. chinensis in May 2014. Since July 2015, we took plants to measure single plant height, leaf length, natural leaf width, spread leaf width, stem diameter, stem length, leaf mass and stem mass at an interval of 15 days until the end of August. Then statistical analysis was applied for the impacts of the treatment on the traits and driving factors to affect phenotypic and qualitative traits of the plant.

Important findings (1) Root-cutting significantly decreased specific leaf area, total leaf mass, stem length/stem diameter, stem dry matter fraction, and significantly increased average leaf length and leaf area. Therefore, it increased individual plant mass, dry matter fraction and height. (2) Dynamics of the traits for both control and treatment followed a quadratic curve. (3) All the phenotypic traits except for the number of leaves in a plant were significantly positively correlated with each other. Leaf mass, stem mass and individual plant mass were significantly positively correlated with each other, whilst specific leaf area was not significantly correlated with the rest of the quantitative traits. (4) Total leaf length and total leaf mass were the greatest driving factors for aboveground biomass among the phenotypic and quantitative traits, respectively. Root-cutting can advance the life history of plant aboveground to some extent.

Key words: root-cutting, Leymus chinensis, functional traits, vegetative phase, driving factor, life history