Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2009, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 893-900.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2009.05.008

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

POPULATION QUANTITATIVE DYNAMICS OF THE RHIZOMATOUS WOODY CLONAL PLANT EREMOSPARTON SONGORICUM IN CHINA’S GURBANTUGGUT DESERT

ZHANG Dao-Yuan1,2*; WANG Jian-Cheng1,2; SHI Xiang1,2   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology and Desert Environment, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China; 2Turpan Eremophytes Botanical Garden, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China
  • Online:2009-09-30 Published:2009-09-30
  • Contact: ZHANG Dao-Yuan

Abstract: Aims Our objective was to analyze population quantitative dynamics of the rhizomatous woody clonal plant Eremosparton songoricum, a rare dwarf shrub of mobile or semi-fixed sand dunes of central Asian desert.
Methods We investigated rhizome structure along three transects at the edge of two dune populations of E. songoricum (riverside population A at 46°31.09′ N, 88°33.06′ E; hinterland population B at 46°28.07′ N, 88°33.07′ E) in Gurbantuggut Desert in Xinjiang, China. We used rhizome length as the unit of the populations instead of ramets. Based on rhizome structure, we constructed static life tables, survival curves, fecundity schedules and Leslie matrix modes for the two populations and predicted their dynamics in the next 15 years.
Important findings The survival curves of the two E. songoricum populations were the Deevey Type I and mortality rates were low at the early stage. For population A, the net reproductive rate (R0), the in-trinsic rate (rm) and the finite rate (λ) were low, indicating that the size of population A would decline; this agreed with the prediction of the Leslie matrix model. For population B, R0, rm, and λ were moder-ate, indicating that the size of population B would slowly increase in the future. This result was generally consistent with the prediction of the Leslie matrix model, which showed that population B would first decrease and then increase in the next 15 years.