Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2022, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (11): 1376-1387.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0257

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Leaf traits of Artemisia ordosica at different dune fixation stages in Mau Us Sandy Land

DAI Yuan-Meng1,2, LI Man-Le1,2, XU Ming-Ze1,2, TIAN Yun1,2,3,*(), ZHAO Hong-Xian1,2, GAO Sheng-Jie1,2, HAO Shao-Rong1,2, LIU Peng1,2,3, JIA Xin1,2,3, ZHA Tian-Shan1,2,3   

  1. 1School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    2Yanchi Ecology Research Station of Mau Us Desert, Yanchi, Ningxia 751500, China
    3Key Laboratory of State Forestry and Grassland Administration on Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2022-06-18 Accepted:2022-09-23 Online:2022-11-20 Published:2022-09-28
  • Contact: *TIAN Yun(
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(31901366);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(32071842);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(32071843);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(32101588)


Aims The dynamic changes of plant leaf traits during sand dune fixation in semi-arid areas is of significance to reveal the ecologically adaptative strategies of sand plants to environmental changes in the region.
Methods Eleven leaf traits of a typical species, Artemisia ordosica, in the Mau Us Sandy Land, was measured at its four different stages of sand dune fixation (semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, fixed dune with biological soil crusts, fixed dune with abundant herbaceous plants). The variations in the leaf traits and their relationships over different sand-fixation stages were tested using correlation, principal component and similarity analysis.
Important findings (1) The leaf area (LA) and maximum net photosynthetic rate (Amax) in the semi-fixed dune stage were significantly higher than the other three stages of sand dune fixation, leaf carbon content increased significantly and then decreased slightly as the dunes gradually fixed. Leaf phosphorus content at the semi-fixed dune and the fixed dune with biological soil crusts was significantly higher than that at other two stages, and being highest at the semi-fixed dune stage. These variations in leaf traits indicated that A. ordosica tended to enhance photosynthesis for survival in the semi-fixed dune stage. (2) Photosynthesis-related traits of LA and specific leaf area (SLA) were significantly and negatively correlated with physically defense-related structure traits of leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and leaf tissue density, respectively, regardless of the stage of sand dune fixation. The results demonstrated that in order to adapt to the dry environment, the investment in leaf photosynthetic capacity would decrease with the increase of investment in physical defense structure. It also showed that there was a trade-off between the plant growth and defense capability enhancement at different stages of sand dune fixation. (3) The leaf chemical traits were significantly correlated with the leaf morphological and physiological traits. And the leaf traits tended to develop from “rapid investment - return” to “slow investment - return” as sand dune fixed. The results demonstrated that sandy plants could adjust their resource use trade-off strategy to adapt to different environmental changes through leaf traits and interrelationship optimization.

Key words: leaf trait, resource trade-off strategy, sand fixation stage, Artemisia ordosica