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LI Hua-Shou, ZHANG Xiu-Yu, ZENG Xiang-You, NIE Cheng-Rong
Chin J Plant Ecol    2006, 30 (1): 124-131.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2006.0018
Abstract3714)   HTML12)    PDF (761KB)(7624)       Save

Chlorates are a group of oxidizers with strong toxic effects that can cause significant damage to plants. However, chlorates have been used as a non-selective herbicide, defoliant and desiccant. It was found that potassium chlorate can induce flowering in longan (Dimocarpus longan). It has been widely used in longan orchards in recent years, especially in north Thailand and south China, but research has shown that potassium chlorate is toxic to organisms. It can also contaminate soil and water. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of potassium chlorate stress on the growth and physiological response of peanut (Arachis hypogaea).
The main method used to induce flower initiation in longan for off-season production is the application of potassium chlorate under the tree canopy. Most research efforts have been devoted to determining the optimum time and amount of application. Little is known about the phytotoxic effects of potassium chlorate on peanut plants, which usually is planted within longan orchards. In this paper, the effects of potassium chlorate on the growth of peanut plants were studied. Using the soil culture method, six potassium chlorate treatments were used to assess its effects on seed germination, chlorophyll content, levels of electrolytic leakage (EL), membrane permeability (MP), and activities of nitrate reductase (NR) and catalase (CAT) in peanut seedling leaves, as well as the biomass and number of Rhizobium, and the transpiration and photosynthetic rates in mature peanut plants. The results showed that: when the concentration of potassium chlorate was higher than 50 mg·L-1, the germination rates of peanut seeds and root lengths were greatly reduced, while the amount of electrolytic leakage and the activity of CAT were increased significantly. When the concentration of potassium chlorate was higher than 50 mg·kg-1 in soil, its phytotoxic effects resulted in a significant increase in MP in seedling leaves, and a decrease in NR, chlorophyll, biomass and the number of Rhizobium, and a reduction in transpiration and photosynthesis. It can be concluded that soil concentrations of potassium chlorate higher than 50 mg·kg-1 would have a significantly negative effect on the growth of peanut plants.

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Cited: CSCD(5)
Advances and perspective in research on plant-soil-microbe interactions mediated by root exudates
WU Lin-Kun, LIN Xiang-Min, LIN Wen-Xiong
Chin J Plant Ecol    2014, 38 (3): 298-310.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00027
Abstract4275)   HTML41)    PDF (621KB)(6726)       Save

Root exudates have specialized roles in nutrient cycling and signal transduction between a root system and soil, as well as in plant response to environmental stresses. They are the key regulators in rhizosphere communication, and can modify the biological and physical interactions between roots and soil organisms. Root exudates play important roles in biogeochemical cycle, regulation of rhizospheric ecological processes, and plant growth and development, and so on. Root exudates also serve roles in the plant-plant, plant-microbe, and microbe-microbe interactions. Plant allelopathy, intercropping system, bioremediation, and biological invasion are all the focal subjects in the field of contemporary agricultural ecology. They all involve the complex biological processes in rhizosphere. There are increasing evidences that various positive and negative plant-plant interactions within or among plant populations, such as allelopathy, consecutive monoculture problem, and interspecific facilitation in intercropping system, are all the results of the integrative effect of plant-microbe interactions mediated by root exudates. Recently, with the development of biotechnology, the methods and technologies relating to soil ecological research have achieved a remarkable progress. In particular, the breakthroughs of meta-omics technologies, including environmental metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, and metabonomics, have largely enriched our knowledge of the soil biological world and the biodiversity and function diversity belowground. Research on plant-soil-microbe interactions mediated by root exudates has important implications for elucidating the functions of rhizosphere microecology and for providing practical guidelines. The concept and components of root exudates as well as the functions are reviewed in this paper. An overview on the root-bacteria, root-fungi, and root-fauna interactions is presented in detail. Methods to study root exudates and microbial communities are reviewed and the aspects needed to be further studied are also suggested.

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Cited: CSCD(220)
GONG Chun-Mei, NING Peng-Bo, WANG Gen-Xuan, LIANG Zong-Suo
Chin J Plant Ecol    2009, 33 (1): 206-221.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2009.01.023
Abstract3494)   HTML9)    PDF (722KB)(6322)       Save

Three photosynthetic pathways are used by plants: C3, which most plants use, C4 and crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). C3 is the ancestral pathway, with C4 and CAM representing recently diverged forms. We conclude that the variation and evolution of photosynthetic pathway of C3 and C4 are adaptations to environmental stresses. First, we discuss the evolutional future of photosynthetic pathways. It has been suggested that low atmosphere CO2, enhanced temperatures, drought and salinity are external drivers of C4 photosynthetic evolution. Second, we analyze the possibility of evolution from C3 to C4. The polyphyletic evolution of the C4 pathway suggests that the transition from C3 to C4 was relatively simple. This suggestion is supported by the observation that both C3 and C4 plants possess inherent plasticity in their photosynthetic characteristics. The stress causing the shift from C3 to C4 was involved in the environmental regulation of plants, and the C4 pathway in C3 plants evolved as an adaptation. The environmental stresses may have involved plant capacities for survivorship and competition in arid areas. Third, we present a simplistic model of the main phases of C4 photosynthetic evolution and discuss the variation and evolution of C3 and C4 photosynthetic carbon assimilating pathways. Evolution was not directly to C4 photosynthesis, so each step had to be stable, beginning with numerous preconditions needed for an evolutionary lineage to begin evolving C4 characteristics. A current complication of C4 photosynthetic evolution is global climate change and human manipulation of the biosphere. It is possible that C4 photosynthesis can be used to resist adversity and increase the yield of C3 crops. In conclusion, study of the evolution of photosynthetic pathway in plants provided insight into the photosynthetic physiology of plants under stress and provided new theory to reconstruct vegetation, enhance crop yield, and explain adaptation of C3 species in arid areas.

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MENG Ting-Ting, NI Jian, Wang Guo-Hong
Chin J Plant Ecol    2007, 31 (1): 150-165.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2007.0019
Abstract6020)   HTML80)    PDF (682KB)(6153)       Save

Plant traits link environmental factors, individuals and ecosystem structure and functions as plants respond and adapt to the environment. This review introduces worldwide classification schemes of plant functional traits and summarizes research on the relationships between plant functional traits and environmental factors such as climate (e.g., temperature, precipitation and light), geographical variation (e.g., topography, ecological gradients and altitude), nutrients and disturbance (including fire, grazing, invasion and land use), as well as between plant functional traits and ecosystem functions. We synthesize impacts of global change (e.g., climate change) on plant functional traits of individuals and plant communities. Research on plant functional traits is very fruitful, being applicable to research on global change, paleovegetation and paleoclimate reconstruction, environmental monitoring and assessment and vegetation conservation and restoration. However, further studies at large scale and including multi-environmental factors are needed and methods of measuring traits need to be improved. In the future, study of plant functional traits in China should be accelerated in a clear and systematic way.

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Cited: CSCD(258)
Review of current progress in the metabolomics for plant response to abiotic stress
TENG Zhong-Qiu, FU Hui-Qing, JIA Shao-Hua, MENG Wei-Wei, DAI Rong-Ji, DENG Yu-Lin
Chin J Plant Ecol    2011, 35 (1): 110-118.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00110
Abstract3380)   HTML8)    PDF (371KB)(5537)       Save

Metabolomics is an important platform for studying stress in plants. We can qualify and quantify the metabolites of plants with environment stress using modern analytical techniques. The metabolomics data can be further studied by correlating with transcriptomics and genomics data. The combination of ‘omics’ platforms is an essential tool for systems analyses of plants to determine the mechanics of plant response to environment stress. We review recent studies of plant response to abiotic stress using metabolomics method and combination of different ‘omics’ platforms.

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Cited: CSCD(24)
A brief introduction of structural equation model and its application in ecology
WANG You-Shi, CHU Cheng-Jin
Chin J Plant Ecol    2011, 35 (3): 337-344.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00337
Abstract4586)   HTML37)    PDF (8241KB)(5165)       Save

Natural systems are essentially complex. In most cases, fully understanding natural systems requires the capacity to examine simultaneous influences and responses among multiple interacting factors. Compared with traditional multivariate methods, structural equation model (SEM) could specify the causal or dependent relationships among variables using the prior knowledge of researchers before conducting relevant experiments, i.e. initial models. SEM could not only identify the individual path coefficient for each relationship, but also estimate the whole model fit to determine whether to revise the initial models. We attempt to introduce SEM from the following aspects: definition and types of variables in SEM, detailed procedures for how to analyze data through SEM, some applications of SEM in ecology and recommended software. We encourage more researchers to apply SEM in ecological data analyses in order to improve understanding of natural systems and advance the field of ecology.

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Cited: CSCD(28)
ZHU Wen-Quan, PAN Yao-Zhong, ZHANG Jin-Shui
Chin J Plant Ecol    2007, 31 (3): 413-424.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2007.0050
Abstract5468)   HTML52)    PDF (585KB)(5102)       Save

Aims Net primary productivity (NPP) is a key component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Model simulation is commonly used to estimate regional and global NPP given difficulties to directly measure NPP at such spatial scales. A number of NPP models have been developed in recent years as research issues related to food security and biotic response to climatic warming have become more compelling. However, large uncertainties still exist because of the complexity of ecosystems and difficulties in determining some key model parameters.
Methods We developed an estimation model of NPP based on geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) technology. The vegetation types and their classification accuracy are simultaneously introduced to the computation of some key vegetation parameters, such as the maximum value of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for different vegetation types. This can remove some noise from the remote sensing data and the statistical errors of vegetation classification. It also provides a basis for the sensitivity analysis of NPP on the classification accuracy. The maximum light use efficiency (LUE) for some typical vegetation types in China is simulated using a modified least squares function based on NOAA/AVHRR remote sensing data and field-observed NPP data. The simulated values of LUE are greater than the value used in the CASA model and less than the values simulated with the BIOME-BGC model. The computation of the water restriction factor is driven with ground meteorological data and remote sensing data, and complex soil parameters are avoided. Results are compared with other studies and models.
Important findings The simulated mean NPP in Chinese terrestrial vegetation from 1989-1993 is 3.12 Pg C (1 Pg=1015 g). The simulated NPP is close to the observed NPP, and the total mean relative error is 4.5% for 690 NPP observation stations distributed in the whole country. This illustrates the utility of the model for the estimation of terrestrial primary production over regional scales.

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Cited: CSCD(319)
Distribution pattern and environmental interpretation of plant species diversity in the mountainous region of Ili River Valley, Xinjiang, China
XU Yuan-Jie, CHEN Ya-Ning, LI Wei-Hong, FU Ai-Hong, MA Xiao-Dong, GUI Dong-Wei, CHEN Ya-Peng
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (10): 1142-1154.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.10.003
Abstract3411)   HTML4)    PDF (538KB)(4904)       Save

Aims Our major objective was to reveal the distribution pattern of plant species diversity in the mountainous region of Ili River Valley, Xinjiang, China and explore how environmental gradients influenced the pattern.

Methods Based on a survey of 94 sample plots in the study area, DCCA was performed to analyze the relationships between diversity indices and environmental gradients and GAM was employed to model the response curve of diversity indices to elevation.

Important findings We recorded 259 plant species, including 235 herbaceous species; the species of woody plants were very limited. Communities with complex vertical structure had higher values of diversity. The distribution pattern of species diversity on the northern slope was affected by elevation, slope aspect, slope gradient, total nitrogen, total potassium, soil water content, organic matter, etc., and that on the southern slope was mainly affected by slope gradient, elevation, available phosphorus, soil water content, etc. On the northern slope, Patrick index and Shannon-Wiener index had a bimodal pattern with elevation and Simpson index and Pielou index showed a partially unimodal pattern. On the southern slope all the distribution pattern of species diversity indices showed two peaks, though that of the Patrick index was not obvious. These patterns were formed by the synthetic action of a variety of environmental factors in which elevation played an important role.

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Cited: CSCD(58)
LIU En-Ke, ZHAO Bing-Qiang, LI Xiu-Ying, JIANG Rui-Bo, LI Yan-Ting, HWAT Bing So
Chin J Plant Ecol    2008, 32 (1): 176-182.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2008.01.020
Abstract5253)   HTML22)    PDF (371KB)(4897)       Save

Aims Cropping practices and fertilizer/organic matter application affects the soil microbial growth and activity. In china, only few studies have been conducted on the influence of long-term fertilizer and organic matter with fertilizer application on the soil biological properties. Our objective was to study the changes in soil biological and biochemical characteristics under a long-term (15 years) field experiment involving fertility treatments (inorganic fertilizers and organic matter with fertilizers) and two crop rotation systems.
Methods In 1990, thirteen different treatments were established in the Drab Fluvo-aquic soil in Beijing for the long-term experiment. Six treatments were chosen in this study. Four were in a wheat-maize rotation receiving no fertilizer (CK), mineral fertilizers (NPK), mineral fertilizers plus farmyard manure (NPKM) and mineral fertilizers with maize straw incorporated (NPKS). One was in a wheat-maize/wheat-soybean rotation receiving NPK (NPKF). The other was abandoned arable land (CK0) growing weeds. The amount of chemical fertilizer per year was N 150 kg·hm-2, P2O5 75 kg·hm-2, K2O 45 kg·hm-2, manure 22.5 Mg·hm-2 and maize straw 2.25 Mg·hm-2. Established methods were used to analyze soil enzymes and soil physical and chemical characteristics. Analysis was done using an integrative method combining correlation and component analyses in SPSS.
Important findings The soil organic C (SOC) and total N (STN) content, microbial biomass C (SMB-C) & N (SMB-N), activities of soil invertase, phosphatase and urease, and the ratio of SMB-C/SOC and SMB-N/STN were found higher in long-term (15 years) abandoned arable land than those in cultivated arable land soils. However, the soil metabolic quotient, pH value and bulk density of fallow soil were lower than those in cultivated arable land soils. The soil nutrient concentration, microbial biomass C & N, activities of soil invertase, phosphatase and urease, were higher in treatments with fertilizer application (NPK, NPKM, NPKS and NPKF) compared to no fertilizer application treatment (CK). The above soil parameters were also found higher in wheat-maize/wheat-soybean rotation cropping system compared to continuous wheat-maize cropping system. Among the fertilizer application treatments (NPK, NPKM, NPKS and NPKF), NPKM had relative higher soil nutrient concentration, microbial biomass C & N, and enzyme activities compared to other fertilizer application treatments. However, the soil metabolic quotient, pH value and bulk density of NPKM were lower than them.

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Cited: CSCD(149)
A review on modeling of responses of photosynthesis to light and CO2
YE Zi-Piao
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (6): 727-740.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.06.012
Abstract3382)   HTML22)    PDF (538KB)(4787)       Save

The light and CO2 response curve of photosynthesis is an important tool to study plant physiology and plant ecology that can provide a scientific basis for the response of plant photosynthetic properties to environmental factors. This review considered the progress and potential weaknesses of light and CO2 response models of photosynthesis and discussed research trends. Photosynthesis, which involves energy of light, absorption, energy conversion, electron transfer, ATP synthesis, CO2 fixation etc., is a complex physical and chemical reaction process. It includes three basic steps: the primary reaction, the assimilatory power forms and the carbon assimilation, and each link may directly influence other processes. Classical models on photosynthetic light response only involve with light energy absorption, and biochemistry models do with the assimilatory power to form as well as carbon assimilation. A future direction of research of the mechanistic model of photosynthetic light response is the primary reaction of photosynthesis, namely participation the energy of light absorption, the transmission and the transformation of the harvesting light pigment member the physical parameter (e.g., the light-harvesting pigment molecules, light energy absorption cross-section of the harvesting pigment, the mean lifetime of the harvesting light pigment) unify in the biochemistry model.

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Review of research advancements on the molecular basis and regulation of symbiotic nodulation of legumes
CHOU Min-Xia, WEI Xin-Yuan
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (7): 876-888.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.07.013
Abstract2257)   HTML7)    PDF (1104KB)(4393)       Save

The symbiosis between leguminous plants and rhizobia leads to the formation of a novel root organ, the nodule. In mature nodules, rhizobia provide the host plant with ammonium, which is produced through bacterial nitrogen fixation. The symbiotic interactions involve the perception of bacterial signaling factors called Nod factors (NFs) by plant host, the NF signaling pathway, the formation of infection threads and the development of nodule in the cortex. Although this nodule formation is beneficial for host plants to secure a nitrogen resource, overproduction of nodules could deleteriously affect plant growth. Legume plants avoid this by utilizing a negative feedback regulation known as autoregulation of nodulation (AON), in which earlier formed nodules suppress further nodulation through shoot-root communication. We summarize nodule formation and types and highlight recent studies on the molecular basis underlying NF signaling cascade, AON and effects of environmental nitrogen conditions on nodulation. We also discuss current research problems and reflect on the future of this field.

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Cited: CSCD(13)
Relationship between forest lighting fire occurrence and weather factors in Daxing’an Mountains based on negative binomial model and zero-inflated negative binomial models
GUO Fu-Tao, HU Hai-Qing, JIN Sen, MA Zhi-Hai, ZHANG Yang
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (5): 571-577.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.05.011
Abstract2891)   HTML7)    PDF (515KB)(4319)       Save

Aims Much research has been carried out on the relationship between forest fire occurrence and weather factors by use of modeling in recent years. However, the data organization used in past research can not satisfy the requirements of models well. Our aims are to determine the regression model that best fits the forest fire data set and provides a new model theory for research on forest fire and its influencing factors in order to forecast lighting fire occurrence.

Methods We used negative binomial (NB) and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models to describe the relationship between lighting fire occurrence and weather factors in the Daxing’an Mountains for 1980-2005 using SAS 9.1 version and R-Project statistic software and comparing results from these models by use of AIC and Vuong methods.

Important findings Both NB and ZINB models produced results with high significance for each weather factor. Comparison of the two models according to AIC, Vuong and other methods showed that the fitting ability and predictive power of ZINB model are better than those of the NB model. The advantage was also found when we compared the modeling results with Ordinary Least Squares. Then we obtained the best model for the relationship between lighting fire and weather factors.

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Cited: CSCD(22)
Advances in the study of photosynthate allocation and its controls
PING Xiao-Yan, ZHOU Guang-Sheng, SUN Jing-Song
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (1): 100-111.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.01.013
Abstract2693)   HTML9)    PDF (389KB)(3934)       Save

Photosynthate allocation is influenced by both environmental and biological factors. This paper reviews recent advances in the mechanism of photosynthate allocation and its controls at individual and community/ecosystem levels in order to improve understanding of plant responses to global change. At the individual level, more photosynthate will be allocated to roots under conditions of high light, low water and low nutrient availabilities. The effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on photosynthate allocation depends on soil nitrogen availability. The root mass fraction (RMF) will increase under low nitrogen and is unchanged under high nitrogen. At the community/ecosystem levels, photosynthate allocation is insensitive to environmental change. The RMF decreases with increasing stand age. The functional equilibrium hypothesis (optimal partitioning) can explain the regulation of photosynthate allocation in response to environmental change, the source-sink relationship can reflect the effect of ontogeny on photosynthate allocation and the allometric relationship provides an important theoretical baseline prediction to disentangle the effects of plant size and environmental variation on photosynthate allocation. Research is needed on 1) the fraction of photosynthate allocated to respiration at the ecosystem level, 2) accurate estimation of belowground biomass and belowground net primary productivity (BNPP), 3) comparative study of photosynthate allocations between young and mature forests and between field and greenhouse experiments, 4) effects of multiple factors and their interactions on photosynthate allocation at the ecosystem level and 5) cooperative effects of ontogeny and environmental factors on the regulation of photosynthate allocation.

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Cited: CSCD(65)
A review of leaf morphology plasticity linked to plant response and adaptation characteristics in arid ecosystems
LI Yong-Hua, LU Qi, WU Bo, ZHU Ya-Juan, LIU Dian-Jun, ZHANG Jin-Xin, JIN Zhan-Hu
Chin J Plant Ecol    2012, 36 (1): 88-98.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00088
Abstract2498)   HTML8)    PDF (410KB)(3927)       Save

Leaf morphology is closely related to the specific environment and provides the most useful characteristics to understand plant response and adaptation strategy to environmental change. Leaf morphology plasticity is obviously related to the temporal and spatial variation of environmental variables, which are useful to plants to enhance their ability to survive. Consequently, for many years, studies on plant physiology, plant ecology and physiological ecology focused on leaf morphology. We establish a simple category of leaf morphology classification. Simultaneously, based on the principle of material and energy balances, we systematically review the relationships among environment, leaf morphology and energy balances (or material changes), and emphasize that leaf morphology responded or adapted to lower water availability and higher radiation (or temperature) in arid ecosystems. In conclusion, we submit and discuss existing problems in leaf morphology based on the weaknesses of previous studies.

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Cited: CSCD(59)
Techniques and methods of microbiomics and their applications
GAO Gui-Feng, CHU Hai-Yan
Chin J Plant Ecol    2020, 44 (4): 395-408.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2019.0222
Accepted: 24 February 2020

Abstract4622)   HTML170)    PDF (1065KB)(3922)       Save

Microbiome is the combination of all microorganisms and their genetic information in a specific environment or ecosystem, which contains abundant microbial resources. A comprehensive and systematic analysis of the structure and function of microbiome will provide new ideas in solving the core issues in the fields of energy, ecological environment, industrial and agricultural production and human health. However, the study of microbiome largely depends on the development of relevant technologies and methods. Before to the advent of high-throughput sequencing technology, microbial research was mainly based on techniques such as isolation, pure-culture and fingerprint. However, due to the technical restrictions, scientists could only get limited knowledge of microorganisms. Since the beginning of 21st century, the revolutionary advances in the technology of high-throughput sequencing and mass spectrometry have greatly improved our understanding on the structure and ecological functions of environmental microbiome. However, the application of microbiomics technology in microbial research still faces many challenges. In addition, the descriptive studies focusing on the structure and diversity of microbiome have already matured, and the study of microbiomics is facing a critical transition period from quantity to quality and from structure to function. Hence, this paper will firstly introduce the basic concepts of microbiomics and a brief development history. Secondly, this paper introduces the related technologies and methods of microbiomics with their development process, and further expounds the applications and main problems of microbiomics technologies and methods in ecological study. Finally, this paper expounds the frontier direction of the development of microbiomics technology and methods from the technical, theoretical and application levels, and proposes the priority development areas of microbiome research in the future.

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Cited: CSCD(3)
Review of the roles of plants and soil microorganisms in regulating ecosystem nutrient cycling
JIANG Jing, SONG Ming-Hua
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (8): 979-988.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.08.011
Abstract2797)   HTML12)    PDF (665KB)(3858)       Save

Above- and below-ground are important components of terrestrial ecosystems. Plants and microorganisms are dependent on each other, and they are important in the linkage between above- and below-ground processes. The relationship between plants and soil microorganisms and the fundamental role played by above- and below-ground feedbacks are important in controlling ecosystem processes and properties. Plant species play a fundamental role in nutrient absorption, nutrient accumulation, nutrient distribution and nutrient return. Soil microorganisms are important in controlling plant nutrient availability and soil quality. Our main objective is to summarize the relationships between plants and microbes, such as facilitation and competition. Plants, as producers, provide nutrients for soil microorganisms via leaf litter and root exudation. Soil microorganisms, as decomposers, break down organic matter and provide nutrients to plants. A wide range of soil microbes form intimate symbiotic associations with plants, and this can stimulate plant productivity by delivering limited nutrients to their host plants. However, both plants and microbes compete for nutrients because plant nutrient uptake and microbial immobilization occur simultaneously. We provide an integrated analysis of effects of plant diversity on soil microbial diversity, as well as direct and indirect effects of soil microbes on plant diversity and productivity. Previously, the mechanisms of plants and microorganisms in regulating ecosystem nutrient cycling have been controversial. Litter chemical composition and diversity should be considered important functional traits that explain the mechanisms. It is clear that interactions between plants and microbes play a fundamental role in maintaining the stability of natural ecosystems. This review elucidates the linkage between aboveground and belowground processes, which have been treated separately in the past.

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Cited: CSCD(99)
Review on influence mechanisms of light in seed germination
ZHANG Min, ZHU Jiao-Jun, YAN Qiao-Ling
Chin J Plant Ecol    2012, 36 (8): 899-908.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00899
Abstract2531)   HTML22)    PDF (407KB)(3853)       Save

Seed germination is a key process in the natural regeneration of plant populations and is mainly controlled by favorable temperature, water or light conditions. Light plays a critical role in determining the ability and rate of germination of photoblastic seeds. Furthermore, the regulation of seed germination by light involves not only complicated physiological processes but also rigorous signal transductions and gene expression pathways. We summarized available data on the relationships between seed germination and other factors (i.e., light attributes, coupling of light and water/heat and phytochromes in seeds). To assess the effects of light on seed germination, we also comprehensively summarized the physiological reaction and light signal transduction mechanisms regulated by phytochromes in seed germination.

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Cited: CSCD(40)
Ecological stoichiometry: Searching for unifying principles from individuals to ecosystems
HE Jin-Sheng, HAN Xing-Guo
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (1): 2-6.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.01.002
Abstract2947)   HTML15)    PDF (316KB)(3811)       Save
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Cited: CSCD(312)
Pierre Legendre
Chin J Plant Ecol    2007, 31 (5): 976-981.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2007.0124
Abstract3672)   HTML7)    PDF (263KB)(3724)       Save

Aims Beta diversity is the variation in species composition among sites in a geographic region. Beta diversity is a key concept for understanding the functioning of ecosystems, for the conservation of biodiversity, and for ecosystem management. This paper describes how to analyze it from community composition and associated environmental and spatial data tables.

Methods Beta diversity can be studied by computing diversity indices for each site and testing hypotheses about the factors that may explain the variation among sites. Or, one can carry out a direct analysis of the community composition data table over the study sites, as a function of sets of environmental and spatial variables. These analyses are carried out by the statistical method of partitioning the variation of the diversity indices or the community composition data table with respect to environmental and spatial variables. Variation partitioning is briefly described in this paper.

Important findings Variation partitioning is a method of choice for the interpretation of beta diversity using tables of environmental and spatial variables. Beta diversity is an interesting “currency" for ecologists to compare either different sampling areas, or different ecological communities co-occurring in an area. Partitioning must be based upon unbiased estimates of the variation of the community composition data table that is explained by the various tables of explanatory variables. The adjusted coefficient of determination provides such an unbiased estimate in both multiple regression and canonical redundancy analysis. After partitioning, one can test the significance of the fractions of interest and plot maps of the fitted values corresponding to these fractions.

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Cited: CSCD(9)
Comparative evaluation of multiple models of the effects of climate change on the potential distribution of Pinus massoniana
ZHANG Lei, LIU Shi-Rong, SUN Peng-Sen, WANG Tong-Li
Chin J Plant Ecol    2011, 35 (11): 1091-1105.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.01091
Abstract2903)   HTML4)    PDF (1078KB)(3647)       Save

Aims New, powerful statistical techniques and GIS tools have resulted in a plethora of methods for modelling species distribution. However, little is known about the relative performance of different models in simulating and projecting species’ distributions under future climate. Our objective is to compare novel ensemble learning models with other conventional models by modelling the potential distribution of Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) and identifying and quantifying differences in model outputs.
Methods We simulated Masson pine potential distribution (baseline 1961-1990) and projected future potential distributions for three time periods (2010-2039, 2040-2069 and 2070-2099) using three global circulation models (GCM) (MIROC32_medres, JP; CCCMA_CGCM3, CA, and BCCR-BCM2.0, NW), one pessimistic SRES emissions scenario (A2), three ensemble learning models (random forest, RF; generalized boosted model, GBM, and NeuralEnsembles) and three conventional models (generalized linear model, GLM; generalized additive models, GAM, and classification and regression model, CART). The environmental envelope method was used to select absence of species. The area under the curve (AUC) values of receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve, Kappa and true skill statistic (TSS) were used to objectively assess the predictive accuracy of each model. National standards for seed zone of Masson pine (GB 8822.6-1988) was employed to intuitively assess model performance. We developed ClimateChina software to downscale current and future GCM climate data and calculate seasonal and annual climate variables for specific locations based on latitude, longitude and elevation.
Important findings Ensemble learning models (GBM, NeuralEnsembles and RF) achieved a higher predictive success in simulating the distribution of Masson pine compared to other conventional models (CART, GAM and GLM). RF had the highest predictive accuracy, and CART had the lowest. Masson pine shows a globally consistent pattern in response to climate change for the three GCMs and six models, i.e., Masson pine will likely gradually shift northward and expand its distribution under altered future climate, with the magnitude of range changes dependent on model classes and GCMs. RF predicts a greater magnitude of range changes than other models. Projections of Masson pine distribution by NW are more conservative than JP and CA climate scenarios. In the case of Masson pine, range changes are mainly attributed to the colonization of newly available suitable habitat in high-latitudes and unchanging habitat suitability in the south-central part of its baseline range. Differences among 18 projections (6 models × 3 GCMs) increase with increasing time, and the greatest spatial uncertainty in projections is mainly in the north and west borders of the potential distribution range.

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Cited: CSCD(44)
Suggestions for data analysis and use of statistics
HU Feng-Qin,LI Shuo,MOU Pu
Chin J Plant Ecol    2013, 37 (6): 583-588.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00060
Abstract1449)   HTML17)    PDF (502KB)(3594)       Save

We discuss standards for the data analysis portion of the materials and methods section of ecology theses. We also comment on statistical questions frequently encountered in ecological theses, including: more effective statistical approaches, correlated dependent variables, heteroscedasticity, statistical significance vs. biology/ecology significance, and pseudo-replication.

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TENG Nian-Jun, CHEN Tong, LIN Jin-Xing
Chin J Plant Ecol    2006, 30 (6): 1054-1063.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2006.0134
Abstract2669)   HTML1)    PDF (399KB)(3561)       Save

Plant reproductive traits are key characteristics for predicting the impacts of global changes on plant community, agro-ecosystem and plant ecological fitness. This review seeks to integrate current results about the effects of elevated CO2 on plant reproductive traits in detail based on the existing experimental data in the past few decades. Earlier investigations demonstrate that elevated CO2 advances the flowering time through increasing relative growth rate and accelerating developmental process. All the numbers of flowers, fruits, and seeds, the mass of seed as well as the production of pollen and nectar of plants have been found to be stimulated by CO2 enrichment. It is further revealed that the increase in plant yields results largely from an increase in seed number rather than from individual seed mass. Elevated CO2 concentrations have little effect on seed [N] of legumes, but significantly reduce seed [N] of most nonlegumes. Contents of proteins, amino acids, and some mineral ions usually decrease in seeds of most nonlegumes. Different functional groups of plants are often found to differ markedly in their reproductive responses to elevated CO2: 1) crops allocate more mass to reproduction and produce more fruits and seeds than do undomesticated species; 2) indeterminate plants have stronger responses to elevated CO2 in comparison with determinate species; 3) legumes are most responsive to elevated CO2, followed by nonlegume C3 species, then C4 species. Based on the data available, it seems rational to believe that changes in plant reproductive traits resulting from elevated CO2 may alter the competitive hierarchy, the species composition, and hence the functioning of plant community. Finally, some issues noteworthy for future researches in this field are also put forward with reference to the existing unsolved questions.

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ZENG De-Hui, CHEN Guang-Sheng
Chin J Plant Ecol    2005, 29 (6): 1007-1019.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2005.0120
Abstract4679)   HTML33)    PDF (966KB)(3441)       Save

The biological sciences developed very fast during the 20th century and have become increasingly sophisticated and predictive. Along with this trend, areas of research also have become increasingly specialized and fragmented. However, this fragmentation and specialization risks overlooking the most inherent biological characteristics of living organisms. One can ask if the living organisms on the earth have unified and essential characteristics that can connect the disparate disciplines and levels of biological study from molecular structure of genes to ecosystem dynamics. By exploring this question, a new science, ecological stoichiometry, has been developed over the past two decades. Ecological stoichiometry is a study of the mass balance of multiple chemical elements in living systems; it analyzes the constraints and consequences of these mass balances during ecological interactions. All biological entities on the earth have a specific elemental composition and specific elemental requirements, which influence their interactions with other organisms and their abiotic environment in predictable ways. Ecological stoichiometry has been incorporated successfully into many levels of biology from molecular, cellular, organismal and population to ecosystem and globe. At present, the principles of ecological stoichiometry have been broadly applied to research on population dynamics, trophic dynamics, microbial nutrition, host-pathogen interactions, symbiosis, comparative ecosystem analysis, and consumer-driven nutrient cycling. This paper reviews the concepts, research history, principles, and applications of ecological stoichiometry and points out future research hotspots in this dynamic field of study with an aim to promote this discipline of research in China.

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Effects of leaf shape plasticity on leaf surface temperature
LI Yong-Hua, LI Zhen, XIN Zhi-Ming, LIU Ming-Hu, LI Yan-Li, HAO Yu-Guang
Chin J Plant Ecol    2018, 42 (2): 202-208.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0127
Abstract1502)   HTML52)    PDF (2209KB)(3392)       English Version    Save

Aims The shape plasticity of plant leaves is an important survival strategy to high temperature and drought in arid region, yet reliable evidences are insufficient to validate the fundamental concepts. Our objective was to demonstrate the specific effects of leaf morphology on leaf surface temperature.

Methods Infrared thermal images were processed to determine the leaf temperature and shape parameters of simulated and actual leaf shape. Microclimatic conditions were recorded using a automatic weather station near the sampling plot, including wind speed, radiation and air temperature.

Important findings Under the drought and high temperature, the plasticity of leaf shape appeared an important measure to regulate leaf temperature, except leaf transpiration. The exchange rates of matter and energy between leaves and the environment were enhanced by smaller leaves that effectively decreased leaf temperature. With low wind speed and high temperature, leaf surface temperature decreased 2.1 °C per 1 cm reduction in leaf width. However, leaf surface temperature of a simulated leaf decreased 0.60-0.86 °C per 1 cm reduction in leaf width. Results from this study will help us to understand plant adaptability and survival strategy in arid region.

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Cited: CSCD(7)
HAN Wen-Xuan, FANG Jing-Yun
Chin J Plant Ecol    2008, 32 (4): 951-960.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2008.04.025
Abstract3749)   HTML11)    PDF (407KB)(3381)       Save

Allometric scaling relations are characteristic of all organisms. A challenging task is how the typical allometric scaling relationship—Kleiber’s Law, which depicts the proportionality between the metabolic rate of an animal and its body mass raised to the 3/4 power and is well established and supported by data—can be predicted from a purely theoretical standpoint. Scientists have proposed diverse models to do this, but almost all of the models are criticized for theoretical or methodological difficulties. However, ecologists and physicists recently proposed new models. Here we highlight the Fractal-Like Distribution Network Models and other models, such as Multi-Causes Model, Minimal Overall Entropy Production Model, Constructal Theory, Cell Model and Energy Consumption Model.

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Tripathi OP, Pandey HN, Tripathi RS
Chin J Plant Ecol    2008, 32 (1): 73-79.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2008.01.008
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Aims Our study was conducted in the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (NBR) in the Garo hills districts of Meghalaya, Northeast India. Our aim was to assess the effects of human activities on plant diversity, population structure and regeneration.
Methods We selected a representative 1.2 hm2 stand in both the core and buffer zones of NBR. Structure and composition were determined by randomly sampling square quadrats, population structure was assessed by determining age structure, and regeneration was assessed by measuring densities of seedling, sapling and adult trees.
Important findings More woody species were recorded from the core zone than the buffer zone (87 vs. 81 species), and there were a large number of tropical, temperate, and Sino-Himalayan, Burma-Malaysian and Malayan elements, primitive families and primitive genera. The trees were distributed in three distinct strata, canopy, subcanopy and sapling. Subcanopy and sapling layers had the highest species richness (81%-88%). Lauraceae and Euphorbiaceae were the dominant families in terms of the number of species, and a large number of families were represented by single species. Most woody species (57%-79%) were contagiously distributed and had low frequency (<20%). Although stand density was high in the buffer zone, its basal area was low compared to the stand in the core zone. Low similarity and high β-diversity indicate marked differences in species composition of the stands. Shannon diversity index was high in both the stands, while Simpson dominance index was low. The diameter-class distribution for dominant species revealed that the most had a large number of young individuals in their populations. Preponderance of tree seedlings, followed by a steep decline in population density of saplings and adult trees, indicated that the seedling to sapling stage was the most critical in the life cycle of the tree populations. Most species (42%-48%) had no regeneration, 25%-35% had good/fair regeneration, and the rest had poor regeneration or reoccurred as immigrants.

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Ecological adaptation of plants and control of rocky-desertification on karst region of Southwest China
GUO Ke, LIU Chang-Cheng, DONG Ming
Chin J Plant Ecol    2011, 35 (10): 991-999.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00991
Abstract2721)   HTML17)    PDF (389KB)(3314)       Save

Karst region of Southwest China is ecologically very fragile. It has been suffering from severe rock-desertification and its vegetation has been damaging heavily. The restoration or reconstruction of the vegetation is extremely difficult. In recent years, a lot of pure and application-oriented basic researches have been performed in order to scientifically and technologically support the management of the rock-desertification. In this paper, we summarize habitat characteristics of the karst region and review the progress in ecological researches on plant adaptation, plant population, plant community and ecosystem in the region. In addition, as for current situation in management of the rock-desertification, we propose, particularly from angle of plant ecology, expectations for further researches in the region.

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Cited: CSCD(100)
ZHOU Shu-Rong, ZHANG Da-Yong
Chin J Plant Ecol    2006, 30 (5): 868-877.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2006.0110
Abstract6728)   HTML42)    PDF (378KB)(3305)       Save

A central goal of community ecology is to understand the forces that maintain species diversity within communities. The traditional niche-assembly theory asserts that species co-occur in a community only when they differ from one another in resource use. But this theory has some difficulties to explaining the diversity often observed in species-rich communities such as tropical forests. As an alternative to niche theory, Hubbell and other ecologists introduced a neutral model. Hubbell argues that the number of species in a community is controlled by species extinction and immigration and speciation of new species. Assuming that all individuals of all species in a trophically similar community are ecologically equivalent, Hubbell's neutral theory predicts two important statistical distributions. One is the asymptotic log-series distribution for the metacommunity under point mutation speciation, and the other is the zero-sum multinomial distribution for both local community under dispersal limitation and metacommunity under random fission speciation. Unlike the niche-assembly theory, the neutral theory takes similarity in species and individuals as a departure for investigating species diversity. Based on the fundamental processes of birth, death, dispersal and speciation, the neutral theory first presented a mechanism that generates species abundance distributions remarkably similar to those observed in nature. Since the publication of the neutral theory, there has been much discussion of it, pro and con. In this paper, we summarize new progresses in research on assumption, prediction and speciation mode of neutral theory, including progress in the theory itself and tests about the theory's assumption, prediction and speciation mode at metacommunity level. We also suggest that the most important task in the future is to bridge the niche-assembly theory and the neutral theory, and to add niche-differences in neutral theory and more stochasticity into niche theory.

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Exploring the community assembly of subalpine meadow communities based on functional traits and community phylogeny
Ying-Di CHE, Min-Xia LIU, Li-Rong LI, Jiao JIAO, Wei XIAO
Chin J Plan Ecolo    2017, 41 (11): 1157-1167.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0211
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Aims The community assembly has been a prominent issue in community ecology. This work was intended to explore the mechanisms of the species coexistence and biodiversity in communities. Our objective was to explore the mechanisms of community assembly in subalpine meadow plant communities along slope gradients in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, Northwest China.
Methods We selected five slope-oriented plots to construct a super-tree representing the species pool. We surveyed the leaf functional traits and soil environmental factors in different slopes. Then we tested the phylogenetic signal of leaf dry matter content (LDMC), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen content (LNC) and leaf phosphorus content (LPC).
Important findings The changes of slope aspect had significant influence on soil water content (SWC) and soil nutrient content. Most of the plants leaf functional traits had significant difference along different slope aspects. The LDMC was higher in south and southwest slope than north slope, while SLA, LNC and LPC were relatively high in north and northwest slope. The LPC showed feeble phylogenetic signal, while LDMC, SLA, LNC did not have a significant phylogenetic signal. With changes in the slope aspect from south to north, community phylogenetic structure shifted from over-dispersion to clustered dispersion. In south and southwest slope, habitat filtering was the driving force for community assembly. Interspecific competition was the main driving factor for community assembly in north and northwest slope aspects. But in west slope, two indices showed contrary consequence. This means the process of community assembly in west slope was more complicated and its phylogenetic index may be the result of several mechanisms working together.

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Seasonal variations of leaf nitrogen and phosphorus stoichiometry of three herbaceous species in Hangzhou Bay coastal wetlands, China
WU Tong-Gui, WU Ming, LIU Li, XIAO Jiang-Hua
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (1): 23-28.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.01.005
Abstract3355)   HTML8)    PDF (406KB)(3277)       Save

Aims Homeostasis constrains the elemental composition of individual species within narrow bounds no matter the chemical composition of the environment or the resource base. Our objective was to determine the dynamics of leaf stoichiometry during the growth period of plants and the optimum time for stoichiometry study.

Methods We monitored leaf N, P stoichiometry of Scirpus mariqueter, Carex scabrifolia and Phragmites australis, the dominant species in Hangzhou Bay coastal wetlands, at different growth stages from May to October 2007.

Important findings Leaf N, P stoichiometry of the Scirpus, Carex and Phragmites species showed differences: 7.41-17.12, 7.47-13.15 and 6.03-18.09 mg·g-1 for N, 0.34-2.60, 0.41-1.10 and 0.35-2.04 mg·g-1 for P, and 7.19-30.63, 11.58-16.81 and 8.62-21.86 for N:P ratios, respectively. The arithmetic means for the three species were (11.69 ± 2.66), (10.17 ± 1.53) and (11.56 ± 3.19) mg·g-1 for N, (0.93 ± 0.62), (0.74 ± 0.23) and (0.82 ± 0.53) mg·g-1 for P, and 16.83 ± 8.31, 14.53 ± 3.91 and 16.49 ± 5.51 for N:P, respectively, but there was no significant difference of N, P stoichiometry (p > 0.05). It showed high N, P concentrations at the early stage of growth because of small biomass and then decreased greatly with leaf expansion during the fast growth period, increased as leaf growth became stable and decreased again with leaf senescence. Leaf N:P was low at the early stage of growth and then increased, decreased strongly at the fast growth period, and became stable after leaf maturation.

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PIAO Shi-Long, FANG Jing-Yun, HE Jin-Sheng, XIAO Yu
Chin J Plan Ecolo    2004, 28 (4): 491-498.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2004.0067
Abstract4362)      PDF (274KB)(3236)       Save

Estimating carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems has been a central focus of research over the past two decades because of its importance to terrestrial carbon cycles and ecosystem processes. As one of the most widespread ecosystem types, China’s grasslands play an important role in global change research. The grasslands in China, which are distributed primarily throughout the temperate regions and on the Tibetan Plateau, were classified into 17 community types. In the present study, a statistical model was established to estimate grassland biomass and its geographical distribution in China based on a grassland inventory data set and remote sensing data (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) using GIS and RS techniques. We found that there was a significant correlation between aboveground biomass density and the maximum annual NDVI when expressed as a power function (R2=0.71, p<0.001). The aboveground biomass was estimated to be 146.16 TgC (1Tg=1012 g) and belowground biomass was estimated as 898.60 TgC (6.15 times of the above biomass) for a total biomass of 1 044.76 TgC. This value accounts for about 2.1%-3.7% of the world’s grassland biomass. The grassland biomass is distributed primarily in the arid and semiarid regions of Northern China and the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. The average biomass density of China’s grasslands was 315.24 gC·m-2, smaller than the world average. The aboveground biomass density decreases from southeastern China toward the northwest corresponding with changes in precipitation and temperature. Furthermore, aboveground biomass density reached the lowest levels at 1 350 m elevation and peak levels at 3 750 m above sea level which most likely is related to China’s three-step topographical background. The ratio of total biomass of grassland to forest biomass in China is 1/4, much higher than that of the world, suggesting a greater contribution of grasslands to China’s carbon pool.

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C:N:P stoichiometry across evergreen broad-leaved forests, evergreen coniferous forests and deciduous broad-leaved forests in the Tiantong region, Zhejiang Province, eastern China
YAN En-Rong, WANG Xi-Hua, GUO Ming, ZHONG Qiang, ZHOU Wu
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (1): 48-57.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.01.008
Abstract3926)   HTML9)    PDF (993KB)(3233)       Save

Aims Little is known about constrained ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus (C:N:P) in terrestrial ecosystems. Our objective was to examine the C:N:P stoichiometry and its relationship with N and P resorption in evergreen broad-leaved forests (EBLF), evergreen coniferous forests (CF) and deciduous broad-leaved forests (DF) at the regional scale.

Methods The study was conducted in Tiantong National Forest Park (29°52′ N, 121°39′ E), Zhejiang Province, eastern China. To estimate foliar and litter C:N:P ratios and N and P resorption efficiencies, we quantified the C, N and P concentrations in leaf and litterfall in EBLF, CF and DF. We used type II regression slopes (reduced major axis, RMA) to determine whether C:N:P stoichiometry varied across gradients of forest production and nutrients.

Important findings The C:N:P ratios in EBLF, CF and DF were 758:18:1, 678:14:1 and 338:11:1 in fresh leaves and 777:13:1, 691:14:1 and 567:14:1 in litterfall, respectively. The foliar C:N ratio was highest in CF, intermediate in EBLF and lowest in DF, while the foliar C:P and N:P ratios were highest in EBLF, intermediate in CF and lowest in DF. In contrast, the litterfall C:N and C:P ratios were higher in EBLF than in CF and DF, and there were no significant differences of N:P ratio among forests. The type II regression slope for N vs. P in leaves of overall plants was statistically >1, suggesting an increasing investment of N with increasing of P in fresh leaves. In contrast, the slope for N vs. P in litterfall approximated 1. N resorption in EBLF was significantly higher than in CF and in DF, but the highest P resorption was observed in DF. Although foliar N:P ratios indicated that EBLF was P limited, DF was N limited and CF was both N and P limited, the nutrient resorption efficiency did not respond with relatively high N resorption in EBLF and high P resorption in DF. We concluded that the relative higher resorption of N and P before leaf abscission could be an inherent property of plants, but was not a mechanism thought to have evolved to conserve nutrients in environments with limited N or P supply.

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Regionalization and distribution pattern of vegetation of Northeast China
ZHOU Dao-Wei, ZHANG Zheng-Xiang, JIN Ying-Hua, WANG Ping, WANG Xue-Zhi
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (12): 1359-1368.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.12.001
Abstract4132)   HTML13)    PDF (785KB)(3231)       Save

Aims Our objectives were to consider a new scheme for vegetation regionalization of Northeast China, especially for vegetation in the Songliao Plain, and to illustrate the distribution pattern of vegetation as determined by altitude.
Methods We clustered the sites from Inner Mongolia steppe, east forest and central Songliao Plain with temperature, precipitation, soil types and underground water depth using principle component analysis (PCA). We also analyzed the physiognomy, topography of Northeastern China using GIS, vegetation types and soil types of Songnen Plain.
Important findings The dominant vegetation of Songliao Plain is meadow, an unzonal vegetation type. The Stipa communities, an indicator of the zonal vegetation type, mainly distributed on the second mesa in Songnen Plain, are a sandland vegetation type that is distributed discontinuously among meadow vegetation. Therefore, the vegetation of Songliao Plain should be regionalized as an area of temperate broad-leaved deciduous forest, and the east boundary of temperate steppe region should be moved toward to the west of the Da Hinggan Mountains. The vegetation distribution of Northeast China shows a vertical zonation determined by altitude.

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A review of progress in roles of organic acids on heavy metal resistance and detoxification in plants
FU Xiao-Ping, DOU Chang-Ming, HU Shao-Ping, CHEN Xin-Cai, SHI Ji-Yan, CHEN Ying-Xu
Chin J Plant Ecol    2010, 34 (11): 1354-1358.   DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.11.013
Abstract2826)   HTML9)    PDF (289KB)(3229)       Save

Mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance and detoxification in plants can be divided into two categories, external exclusion and internal tolerance. We reviewed the effects of organic acids as a kind of metal chelators in both processes in plants. In the external detoxification process, organic acids excreted from plant roots may form stable metal-ligand complexes with heavy metal ions and change their mobility and bioavailability, thus preventing the metal ions entering plants or avoiding their accumulation in the sensitive sites of roots. In internal metal detoxification, organic acids may chelate with heavy metal in cytosol, where the ions can be transformed into a non-toxic or less toxic form.

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Nonlinear responses of productivity and diversity of alpine meadow communities to degradation
CHEN Ning, ZHANG Yang-Jian, ZHU Jun-Tao, LI Jun-Xiang, LIU Yao-Jie, ZU Jia-Xing, CONG Nan, HUANG Ke, WANG Li
Chin J Plan Ecolo    2018, 42 (1): 50-65.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0252
Abstract1831)   HTML80)    PDF (1907KB)(3214)       Save

Aims The alpine meadow degradation could have profound effects on the grassland productivity. The aim of our study is to clarify the dynamic response of community productivity and species diversity in the process of alpine meadow degradation.

Methods In the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Northern Tibetan Grassland Ecosystem Research Station (Nagqu station), we conducted stages experiments with multiple degradation levels: control, mild degraded meadow, moderate degraded meadow, severe degraded meadow and serious sandy meadow.

Important findings The response of aboveground biomass to alpine meadow degradation showed a linear or nonlinear increased response patterns, but the belowground biomass and total biomass decreased nonlinearly. As observed in measurement of aboveground biomass, Margalef index, Simpson index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou evenness index also exhibit a nonlinear increased response to degradation. The results of structural equation models showed that belowground biomass has a positive relationship with soil carbon content (p < 0.05) and volume water content (p < 0.1). However, soil nutrient and soil physical properties had no significant impact on aboveground biomass (p < 0.1). Compared with soil physical properties, soil nutrition is an important factor influencing the diversity index. In our study, the nonlinear responses of productivity and diversity of alpine meadow were described by using the multiple levels of degradation in space. The results suggested that aboveground productivity cannot interpret the degree of degradation of alpine meadow, and by contrast, alpine meadow degradation should be measured by the change of plant functional groups, such as edible grasses and poisonous forbs.

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Ecological thresholds: Concept, Methods and research outlooks
TANG Hai-Ping,CHEN Jiao,XUE Hai-Li
Chin J Plan Ecolo    2015, 39 (9): 932-940.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0090
Abstract2330)   HTML22)    PDF (289KB)(3194)       Save

The concept of ecological thresholds was raised in the 1970s. However, it was subsequently given different definitions and interpretations depending on research fields or disciplines. For most scientists, ecological thresholds refer to the points or zones that link abrupt changes between alternative stable states of an ecosystem. The measurement and quantification of ecological thresholds have great theoretical and practical significance in ecological research for clarifying the structure and function of ecosystems, for planning sustainable development modes, and for delimiting ecological red lines in managing the ecosystems of a region. By reviewing the existing concepts and classifications of ecological thresholds, we propose a new concept and definition at two different levels: the ecological threshold points, i.e. the turning points of quantitative changes to qualitative changes, which can be considered as ecological red lines; the ecological threshold zones, i.e. the regime shifts of the quantitative changes among different stable states, which can be considered as the yellow and/or orange warning boundaries of the gradual ecological changes. The yellow thresholds mean that an ecosystem can return to a stable state by its self-adjustment, the orange thresholds indicate that the ecosystem will stay in the equilibrium state after interference factors being removed, whereas the red thresholds, as the critical threshold points, indicate that the ecosystem will undergo irreversible degradation or even collapse beyond those points. We also summarizes two types of popular Methods in determining ecological thresholds: statistical analysis and modeling based on data of field observations. The applications of ecological thresholds in ecosystem service, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management research are also reviewed. Future research on ecological thresholds should focus on the following aspects: (1) methodological development for measurement and quantification of ecological thresholds; (2) emphasizing the scaling effect of ecological thresholds and establishment of national-scale observation system and network; and (3) implementation of ecological thresholds as early warning tools in ecosystem management and delimiting ecological red lines.

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Community characteristics of main vegetation types along two altitudinal transects on mountains of northwestern Beijing, China
ZHANG Wei-Kang,LI He,WANG Guo-Hong
Chin J Plant Ecol    2013, 37 (6): 566-570.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00058
Abstract1175)   HTML21)    PDF (328KB)(3181)       English Version    Save

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Cited: CSCD(7)
YUAN Wen-Ping, ZHOU Guang-Sheng
Chin J Plan Ecolo    2004, 28 (4): 523-529.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2004.0071
Abstract3473)      PDF (307KB)(3172)       Save
Droughts are the world’s costliest natural disasters, causing an estimated $6-$8 billion in global damages annually and affecting more people than any other form of natural disaster. Given the consequences and pervasiveness of droughts, it is important to assess the specialized indices that are used to assess drought severity. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) has several characteristics that are an improvement over previous indices, including its simplicity and temporal flexibility that allow it to examine both short term and long term drought conditions. Computation of the SPI involves fitting a gamma probability density function to a given time series of monthly precipitation totals for a weather station. The resulting parameters are then used to find the probability of a particular precipitation event over a given time scale. This probability is then converted to the standard normal random variable SPI index value. In this article, 1-month SPI are calculated and compared with the Z-index, the most widely used index in China. The results demonstrated that 1-month SPI calculated for 7 observational stations are greatly consistent with Zindex, but that the SPI rarely relates to distributing on precipitation, avoiding some of the irregularities associated with the Z-index. Thus, the SPI is superior to the Z-index in its application. We also investigated drought and flood events from 1951-1995 for Beijing in greater detail. By using the 24-month SPI (SPI24), three well-defined drought and flood events were identified from the data series. In general, the same drought and flood events were observed using the 12-month SPI (SPI12) as the SPI24, although there were some interruptions where the SPI12 values approached zero or became negative for short periods. For 3-month periods (SPI3), the SPI values frequently fell above and below zero. These results highlight the SPI characteristics at different time scales. As the time scale increases from 1 to 24 months, the SPI responds more slowly to short-term precipitation variation, and the cycles of positive (wet conditions) and negative (drought) SPI values become more visible. The possibility of calculating the SPI for different time scales enhances its analysis capacity, since it allows the estimation of different antecedent conditions in the soils. Whereas the shortest scales (1 to 3 months) quantifies superficial soil water, which bears a direct significance for agriculture, the longest accumulation scales (12 to 24 months) indicate the state of subsoil moisture as well as other surface and subsurface water resources. The joint consideration of different SPI scales in the analysis contributed to a satisfactory explanation of risk conditions before each flood event reported. These results indicate that the SPI is an effective index for assessing drought conditions at different time scales and should be adopted for use in China.
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Cited: CSCD(203)
Advances research in plant nitrogen, phosphorus and their stoichiometry in terrestrial ecosystems: a review
LIU Chao, WANG Yang, WANG Nan, WANG Gen-Xuan
Chin J Plant Ecol    2012, 36 (11): 1205-1216.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.01205
Abstract1414)   HTML6)    PDF (401KB)(3124)       Save

Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and their stoichiometry play pivotal roles in plant structure and functions, development and ecological strategies in terrestrial ecosystems due to their coupling with each other and their irreplaceability. Plant N and P can be influenced by biotic and abiotic factors, such as individual traits, climate change and human disturbance, and it is those factors that determine the plant community composition and structure that finally affect the ecosystem processes. According to previous studies, there is an allometric relationship between N and P. Relationships between plant N and P depend on the soil nutrient condition and species plasticity in N and P. Understanding the relationships between plant N and P in major ecological gradients can further our knowledge about vegetation restoration, succession, biodiversity, ecosystem trophic structure and biogeochemical cycles. This information could help predict potential changes in terrestrial ecosystems in response to future climate change. We review recent advances in the influencing factors and mechanism of stoichiometry in order to improve understanding of plant responses to global change.

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Cited: CSCD(72)
Mechanisms of rhizosphere priming effects and their ecological significance
SUN Yue, XU Xing-Liang, Yakov KUZYAKOV
Chin J Plant Ecol    2014, 38 (1): 62-75.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00007
Abstract3016)   HTML36)    PDF (446KB)(3113)       Save

Priming effects are defined as “strong short-term changes in the turnover of soil organic matter caused by moderate treatments of the soil”. Rhizosphere is the most important place, where the priming effects take place. Rhizosphere priming effects reflect the turnover rate of soil carbon and nitrogen, and affect the acquisition of competition for nutrients by plants and microorganisms, thus maintaining nutrient balance among the various components of an ecosystem. Although there has been a general understanding on the occurrence of rhizosphere priming effects, the mechanisms underlying their role in soil carbon and nitrogen transformations and their ecological significance are still not fully comprehended. This paper provides a synthesis of the latest advancement in studies of the rhizosphere priming effects. On the basis of reviews of research history and identification of the hotspots, we first put forward a mechanism underlying the occurrence of rhizosphere priming effects, and then examined the biotic and abiotic factors influencing the rhizosphere priming effects. The ecological significance and outlooks of research in the rhizosphere priming effects were discussed and clarified.

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Cited: CSCD(40)

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