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Table of Content
    Volume 46 Issue 5
    20 May 2022
    An aerial view of the evergreen broad-leaved forest canopy in the Tiantong region, Zhejiang Province, China (Photographed by YU Qiu-Wu). Tree canopies with different colors are mosaic-like and form the structure of the forest canopy layer with staggered heights. Yu et al. demonstrated the important role of canopy structure on the species composition of the Tiantong forest communities and clarified the relative importance of canopy height and internal structure (Pages 529-538 of this issue). [Detail] ...
      
    Research progress and prospect of signal transfer among plants mediated by arbuscular mycorrhizal networks
    Wei Xie Zhipeng Hao Bao-Dong CHEN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  493-515.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0143
    Abstract ( 148 )   PDF (1448KB) ( 80 )   Save
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    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are a group of soil-dwelling fungi that can form symbiotic associations with most terrestrial plants. The extraradical mycelium can colonize different plant roots in addition to hyphal fusion, thus form extensive arbuscular mycorrhizal networks (AMNs) underground. AMNs can transport and recycle water and nutrients including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus among plants, recent evidences show that AMNs can also transfer defensive signals to neighboring plants when plants suffer environmental stresses, thus providing early warning to surrounding neighbors. However, the research on AMNs-mediated signal transfer is still in its infancy. Here, we firstly reviewed current research progresses in this research area, then proposed the unanswered questions that worth exploration in the future, including the possible pathways and mechanisms of signal transfer via AMNs among plants, the possible regulation of mycorrhizal symbionts by AMNs-mediated signal transfer, and the common techniques and their development used in the study of AMNs. Finally, we discussed about the possible ecological applications of AMNs such as filed crop protection.
    Advance on the association between mycorrhizal fungi and Orchidaceae in nitrogen nutrition
    Shan Tingting Chen Xiaomei Guo Shunxing Wang Airong
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  516-528.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0364
    Abstract ( 42 )   PDF (372KB) ( 31 )   Save
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    Orchids are typical mycorrhizal plants. Orchid mycorrhiza (OM), the symbiotic association between orchid roots and fungi, is unique to orchids. The nutrient sources of orchid mycorrhizal fungi (OMF) affect the lifestyle and nutrient levels of host plants. Nitrogen (N) is the main limiting factor of plant growth. Orchids generally have higher tissue N levels compared to neighbor autotrophic plants, meaning N enrichment of plants. In this paper, the types and taxa of OMF, N nutrition characteristics of orchids, and N transfer mechanism in OM are reviewed to provide a reference for the research on protection, regeneration, and sustainable utilization of orchid resources.
    Relationship between canopy structure and species composition of an evergreen broadleaf forest in Tiantong region, Zhejiang Province, Eastern China
    Qiu-Wu YU Jing YANG Guo-Chun SHEN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  529-538.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2022.0047
    Abstract ( 201 )   PDF (737KB) ( 64 )   Save
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    Aims The ecological mechanisms underlying differences in community species composition are crucial to understanding and predicting biodiversity changes. The spatial structure independent of ground-level habitat (e.g., soil nutrients and topographic parameters) is considered one of the main influences on differences in the composition of forest tree species. However, the primary drivers that shape this spatial structure are still unclear. Forest canopy structure can alter understory microclimates and may contribute to the spatial structure. Therefore, this study discussed the proportional contribution of forest canopy structure to the spatial structure and compared the importance of different types of forest canopy structure. This will help us further understand the ecological mechanisms underlying differences in community species composition. Methods The study was conducted in a 20 hm2 evergreen broadleaf forest plot in the Tiantong region, Zhejiang Province, Eastern China. We used UVA-based LiDAR to obtain the high-precision forest canopy structure of the Tiantong plot. The redundancy analysis and the variance decomposition method were used to explore the relative importance of forest canopy structure and other potential factors on community species composition. Important findings The research showed that: (1) In the case of not considering the canopy structure, the spatial structure independent of the ground-level habitat was an important factor affecting the species composition of the Tiantong plot. It explained 25.2%, 28.1%, and 8.0% of the variation in community species composition at the scales of 100 m2, 400 m2, and 2,500 m2, respectively. (2) Considering the effect of forest canopy structure largely reduced the explanation power of the spatial structure by about one-third (26.2%–36.0%). (3) Among canopy structure factors, canopy height had the most significant influence on species composition, followed by internal canopy structure. With the increase of the plot scale, the effects of canopy height decreased while the effects of internal canopy structure increased. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that canopy structure was one of the main drivers of spatial structure independent of ground-level habitat. In addition, the influence of canopy height structure on species composition was greater than that of canopy internal structure.
    Latitudinal patterns and influencing factors of plant community and component biomass in arid valley of southwest China
    Zi-Long WANG 斌 胡 Wei-Kai BAO Hui HU 丹丹 韦 婷惠 杨 小娟 黎
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  539-551.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0237
    Abstract ( 201 )   PDF (909KB) ( 54 )   Save
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    Abstract Aims The study of the pattern of biomass variations and their drivers along environmental gradients commonly contribute to the understanding of plant’s adaptability to environmental changes, further explain the spatial differences in vegetation and ecosystem processes. We investigated the biomass latitudinal patterns of plant community and its components and revealed the quantitative relationships of biomass with climatic, soil and community structure as well as species diversity. Methods In order to analyze the variation rules of biomass along the latitude gradient and the drivers, we set up a total of 101 communities (4 m × 6 m) across 9 region along latitude in the arid valley of southwest China (23.23°–32.26° N), to investigate biomass and species composition of plant community and its components Important findings In the arid valley the average biomass of community was (17.05 ± 1.09) t·hm–2, of which the average biomass of shrub, herb and litter were (11.51 ± 1.03), (2.11 ± 0.21) and (3.41 ± 0.34) t·hm–2, respectively, each of them accounting for 60.2%, 15.6%, and 24.1% of the community biomass. With the increase of latitude, community biomass increased significantly. Shrub biomass and their proportion also increased significantly, herb biomass and their proportion remained consistent, whereas litter biomass decreased significantly. The changes of shrub dominance and abundance were the main internal factor for vegetation biomass variation along the latitude gradient. Additionally, compared with soil factors, climate factors had a more significant impact on the biomass changes of community and its components.
    Effects of different habitat on the diversity and biomass of ground mosses in southeast Xizang
    WANG ruihong QU xingle YUAN min MU jinyong LI jinahng
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  552-560.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0114
    Abstract ( 90 )   PDF (329KB) ( 32 )   Save
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    Aims It provides important data for understanding the important role of mosses in forest ecosystem and the influence of forest disturbance on the surface vegetation in the forest through to study the diversity and biomass characteristics of ground mosses per unit area at different gap positions (gap, margin and understory) in Sygera mountain of Xizang. Methods Taking the ground mosses of Sygera mountain in southeast Xizang as the research object and combined early field investigation for acute long bract fir forest, the paper selected seven plots of 100 m×100 m with similar forest, slope direction, slope and terrain. Small quadrats of 50 cm×50 cm were selected in the four different habitats of forest gap, forest edge and forest understory from east, south, west and north directions. There are 12 quadrats in each forest window gap plot and 168 quadrats in total. Mosses survey and collection were carried out in each quadrat. Important findings The results showed that:(1) there were 24 families, 63 genera and 110 species in the study area. Among them, there were 8 dominant families, which are Pottiaceae, Dicranaceae, Polytrichaceae, Mniaceae, Bryaceae, Grimmiaceae, Brachytheciaceae and Hypnaceae. There were obvious distribution rules of moss families, such as Dicranaceae and Bryaceae were widely distributed at all elevations, Polytrichaceae, Bryaceae and Mniaceae were distributed at altitudes of 3700 to 4300m, most of Pottiaceae was distributed over 4300m. (2) the habitat of forest gap was more complex than that of forest margin and understory and it interferes with mosses composition and community structure. The mosses community in forest gap has the most species and the most complex structure, while the mosses community in understory has the least species and the simplest structure. The biomass of ground mosses was the highest in the gap, followed by the edge and the lowest in the understory.(3)the biomass of terrestrial mosses was not only affected by species composition, coverage, body shape and community structure, but also resulted from the interaction of many factors rather than any one factor.
    Genetic diversity and genetic structure of the Betula platyphylla populations on the eastern side of the Qingzang Plateau
    Tian-Yi CHEN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  561-568.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0354
    Abstract ( 77 )   PDF (3729KB) ( 25 )   Save
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    Aims The mountainous region on the east side of the Qingzang Plateau is a biodiversity hotspot and a refuge for many plants during the ice age. The unique topography allows geographic isolation to play an important role in shaping population genetic patterns. The white birch population located on the eastern side of the Qingzang Plateau is isolated by valleys, mountains or rivers, with fragmented distribution, and the genetic pattern is still unclear. Methods We used 11 pairs of nuclear microsatellite molecular markers to analyze the genetic diversity and structure of 13 birch populations located in the eastern mountainous area of the Qingzang Plateau. Important findings A total of 114 alleles were detected in 412 individuals, with a high level of overall genetic diversity (expected heterozygosity, HE = 0.579; observed heterozygosity, HO = 0.555), a medium level of genetic differentiation (genetic differentiation coefficient, Fst = 0.127), and a large difference in genetic distance between the two groups (Fst = 0.017-0.319), and genetic distance was significantly positively correlated with geographic distance. The cluster analysis divides all individuals into two groups, bounded by the Yalong River Canyon, the population on the west side has lower genetic diversity and greater genetic differentiation than the population on the east side. This study shows that the geographic isolation caused by the unique topography on the eastern side of the Qingzang Plateau has profoundly affected the genetic diversity and genetic structure of white birch. The marginal populations located in the Yunnan area have already faced the risk of reduced genetic diversity and should be given priority protection.
    Response of population structure and dynamics of Hippophae tibetana, a pioneer species of succession to altitudinal gradients in the Qilian Mountains
    Zongqi Ma Pengfei Gao Baoli Fan Kun SUN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  569-579.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0419
    Abstract ( 86 )   PDF (492KB) ( 36 )   Save
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    Aims The characteristics of population structure and the quantitative dynamics of plants can reflect their living status and reveal the relationship between population and environment. H. tibetana was a dwarf shrub, and a pioneer species of vegetation succession which was peculiar to the alpine region of Qingzang Plateau, with excellent water and soil conservation effects and good ecological adaptability to high-altitude environment. However, there were few research on the response of population structure and dynamics to altitude gradient, which were not conducive to understanding the ecological strategy of H. tibetana adaptation to alpine habitats. The Qilian Mountains in the northeastern margin of the Qingzang Plateau were ecologically fragile, and H. tibetana as a native species were often patchy distributed in alpine degraded grassland at an altitude of about 2 700–3 300 m, which played an important role in the maintenance of water conservation forest in this region. Methods The structure characteristics, survival status and morphological characteristics of H. tibetana populations distributed at three altitudes (2 868 m, 3 012 m, and 3 244 m) in Tianzhu County, Qilian Mountains were described by establishing static life tables and drawing population survival curves. The population dynamic quantitative analysis and time-sequence model were quantitatively used to determine its future development trend. Important findings The results showed as follows: 1) The plant height, basal diameter and crown width of H. tibetana decreased with elevation; The age structures of all populations at the three altitudes were roughly spindle-shaped, with abundant mature individuals but a few seedlings and old ones, and the mature ones could maintain population stable currently. 2) The survival curves of all populations tended to approach the Deevey-II type, and the survival ability were largest in low altitude, medium in middle altitude, and lowest in high-altitude. The mortality and disappearance rates were both high with the same trends, which were ranking from highest to lowest were high-altitude > low-altitude > middle-altitude, and all of them were abundant of seedlings, indicating that all of them would decline, and a decline was likely to occur in high altitude earliest and quickest. The life expectancy of old individuals were middle-altitude > low-altitude > high-altitude. 3) The dynamic index (Vpi') of each altitude population was close to 0, indicating that all populations were stable, and the maximum of probability under random disturbance (Pmax) of the middle altitude population was the smallest, which showed that the middle-altitude populations were the most stable to random interference. And the middle altitude was the most suitable for the growth of H. tibetana. 4) The proportion of seedlings of the all populations will decrease, while the mature and old ones will increase after the next 2, 4 and 6 age classes of time. The all populations at three altitudes will decline, and the lack of young individuals, interspecific and intraspecific competition, and environmental stress could be the major causes for population declines of the all populations. Based on the above results, it will help to scientifically predict the growth and death of H. tibetana populations in the future, provide reliable theoretical foundation for the protection of natural forests in this region, and reliable data support for the prediction of altitudinal distribution of alpine plants under the global climate.
    Differences in flowering and pollination characteristics of two gender phenotypes of Lilium concolor var. megalanthum between two habitats
    Di Zhang YeQin Du Lei Wang Xin Chen Xing-Fu YAN Zhan-Hui TANG
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  580-592.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0438
    Abstract ( 103 )   PDF (617KB) ( 39 )   Save
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    Aims The flowering phenology and floral syndrome of plants reflect their adaptation to the habitat, which is the result of long-term adaptation and evolution to the surrounding biological and abiotic environment. The aims of this study is to explore the differences of flowering and pollination processes of individuals with different gender phenotypes in Lilium concolor var. megalanthum populations between Gushantun wetland and Jinchuan wetland. Methods Lilium concolor var. megalanthum is a plant with two different gender phenotypes (male plants and hermaphroditic plants) in the wild population. Lilium concolor var. megalanthum in Gushantun wetland with low human disturbance and Jinchuan wetland with strong human disturbance were used as study materials. We compared the flowering phenology, the floral syndrome and the visiting behaviors of pollinators of two gender phenotypes of L. concolor var. Megalanthum between these two habitats. Important findings The results showed that the initial flowering stage, peak flowering stage and final flowering stage of L. concolor var. megalanthum population in Gushantun wetland were earlier than those in Jinchuan wetland. The pollen viability of male plants of L. concolor var. megalanthum in Gushantun wetland was higher than that in Jinchuan wetland at the beginning of flowering. While the overall change trend of pollen viability of hermaphroditic plants of L. concolor var. megalanthum between two habitats were the same. The nectar content of male plants of L. concolor var. megalanthum in Gushantun wetland was higher at the beginning of flowering and then decreased slowly, while it increased first and began to decline after 48 h slowly in Jinchuan wetland. The nectar content of hermaphroditic plants of L. concolor var. megalanthum in Gushantun wetland began to decrease after 24 h, while it began to decrease after 48 h in Jinchuan wetland. The peak time of sugar secretion of both male and hermaphroditic plants of L. concolor var. megalanthum in Gushantun wetland was later than that in Jinchuan wetland. Stigma receptivity of L. concolor var. megalanthum in both habitats has always maintained a high level. The main pollinators of L. concolor var. megalanthum in two habitats were Apis cerana, Everes argiades and Argynnis laodice. The visiting frequency of Apis cerana and Everes argiades to L. concolor var. megalanthum in Gushantun wetland was significantly lower than that in Jinchuan wetland, but the visiting frequency of Argynnis laodice was significantly higher than that in Jinchuan wetland. Among the three pollinator species, Apis cerana had the highest flower visiting efficiency, and Everes argiades and Argynnis laodice played supplementary pollination role. The variation of flowering phenology and floral syndrome between the two habitats are related to the local microclimate and the number of pollinators. This difference is the result of the evolution of L. concolor var. megalanthum over a long period of time.
    Absorptive root anatomical traits of 26 tropical and subtropical fern species
    Wei Xiang dong-liu huang
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  593-601.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0328
    Abstract ( 133 )   PDF (521KB) ( 22 )   Save
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    Aims The physiological function of absorptive roots is to absorb water and nutrients from soil. Investigations of anatomical traits of absorptive roots contribute to understanding environmental adaptation strategies of plant species. Ferns are abundant in tropical and subtropical regions and have important ecological and economic values. However, there are few studies on the anatomical traits of absorptive roots for this important plant group. Methods We measured anatomical traits of absorptive roots for a total of 26 fern species from four typical tropical and subtropical forests. We analyzed inter-specific differences in these root traits across species and explained the influence of phylogeny and climate variables of global native distributions on their trait variations. In addition, we compiled relevant root traits of subtropical angiosperm tree species and temperate fern species from published papers, with an objective to explore the difference in trait correlations between different plant groups. Important findings (1) We found significant differences in the eight root anatomical traits among the 26 fern species, with coefficient of variation ranging from 20.61% to 41.75%. (2) Root traits showed no significant phylogenetic signal except for cortex thickness (CT), indicating that root anatomical traits was little affected by phylogeny. However, we found climate variables exerted a significant impact on root traits, i.e., root diameter (RD) and CT significantly increased with decreasing precipitation of the driest month (quarter). (3) As RD decrease, subtropical angiosperm woody plants showed a significant decrease of the ratio of CT to stele diameter (SD), but fern showed opposite pattern. Compared to temperate ferns, the tropical and subtropical ferns had higher RD, CT, and tracheid diameter (TD). This study would improve our understanding of the eco-physiological adaptation of roots of tropical and subtropical fern species.
    Hydraulic architecture and safety margin of ten afforestation trees species in lower subtropical region
    dong-liu huang Wei Xiang ZhongGuo Li
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2022, 46 (5):  602-612.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2021.0391
    Abstract ( 81 )   PDF (658KB) ( 23 )   Save
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    Aims In lower subtropical region, there are large area pure plantation with various stand types. However, these plantations have simply community structure and are sensitive to climate change. The climate is becoming hotter and drier in the region, it is vital to investigate hydraulics traits of these afforestation species, for a better understanding of their ecophysiological adaptation and response to climate change. Methods We investigated growth rate of ten afforestation tree species (six native species and four exotic species, respectively) from different plantations, and measured a series of xylem hydraulic-related traits. We analyzed the trait-growth relationships across afforestation species, and compared the inter-specific differences in hydraulic safety margin and stomatal safety margin among tree species. Important findings (1) We found that the growth rate was significantly and positively associated with hydraulic conductivity, but not with plant economics traits such as wood density and specific leaf area. (2) We found no trade-off between hydraulic efficiency and safety, with Acacia crassicarpa and Eucalyptus grandisxurophylla showing both high hydraulic conductivity and cavitation resistance. (3) There were large interspecific differences in the hydraulic safety margin among afforestation tree species. During the dry season, Acacia auriculiformis, Cinnamomum burmannii, and Castanopsis hystrix were more easily to experience hydraulic failure. It is recommend that tree hydraulic characteristics should be included into the index system of ecological monitoring of subtropical plantations, which can provide important references for sustainable management of plantations.

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