Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (9): 871-882.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0117

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Responses in allometric growth of two dominant species of subalpine meadow—Arundinella anomala and Miscanthus sinensis—to climate warming in Wugongshan Mountains, China

Xiao-Hong LI1,2, Jian-Cheng XU1,3, Yi-An XIAO1,2,*(), Wen-Hai HU1,2, Yu-Song CAO1,2   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Jinggangshan University, Ji’an, Jiangxi 343009, China

    2Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering of Jiangxi Province, Ji’an, Jiangxi 343009, China
    3College of Agriculture, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
  • Received:2016-03-30 Accepted:2016-07-23 Online:2016-09-10 Published:2016-09-29
  • Contact: Yi-An XIAO


AimsArundinella anomala and Miscanthus sinensis are dominant species in the subalpine meadow of Wugongshan Mountains. Here we studied the effects of climate warming on allometric relationships among different growth components in the two species through simulated warming in natural habitat.
Methods The warming experiments were conducted with open-top chambers (OTCs) in natural habitat in a subalpine meadow community of Wugongshan Mountains. The two main Gramineae species, Arundinella anomala and Miscanthus sinensis, were selected as the study materials. Two sizes of OTCs were set up to create contrasting levels of warming (i.e. TD for low warming and TG for high warming). The morphological variables, such as the plant height and the basal diameter of shoots, were measured. Allometric analysis was conducted with the Smart Package in R software.
Important findings Significant or highly significant correlations and significant allometric relationships were found between and among growth components in both species. The allometry of the growth in most morphological features was strengthened and modified by simulated warming. Stem diameter and plant height, and spike length in A. anomala and M. sinensis changed from isometric to allometric following warming. The relationship The synchronized growth between stem diameter and spikelet in A. anomala was weakened, but their allometry was enhanced with increased warming. The allometric relationship between plant height and leaf length in A. anomala transformed into isometric growth, but it was in reversed pattern in M. sinensis. Warming promoted the plant height and leaf sheath length in A. anomala, whilst higher warming changed the growth relationship between plant height and leaf sheath length in M. sinensis. Similar allometric relationships among the leaf traits were observed, but warming did not significantly impact their allometric exponents. The results suggested that climate warming could have varied effects on different plants, and the differences are often related to the adaptability of plants.

Key words: allometry, climate warming, Gramineae, subalpine meadow, Wugongshan Mountains