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Table of Content
    Volume 42 Issue 6
    20 June 2018
    The typical aquatic plants in Guanting Reservoir are mainly composed of submerged plants, floating plants and emergent plants (photo by Wang Xing). Wang et al. took three species of aquatic plants living in Guanting Reservoir as the research object, and combined the extraction of measured spectral features with the analysis of multi-temporal Landsat 8 OLI image data to effectively identify and extract the spatial distribution of different species of aquatic plants. The results of multi-tempor [Detail] ...
    Vessel length as a key hydraulic structure in woody plants: A review
    CHENG Xiang-Fen, MA Jin, ZHAO Han , JIANG Zai-Min, CAI Jing
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  609-618.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0293
    Abstract ( 1144 )   Full Text ( 144 )   PDF (6498KB) ( 893 )   Save
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    Vessels are the conduit for water transport in xylem of most angiosperms. Our knowledge on their structure remains crucial in understanding the hydraulic properties of angiosperms and their adaptability to the changing environment. Vessel length is one of the major anatomical features that play a fundamental role in determining the trade-offs between safety and efficiency of long-distance water transport in xylem. This article provides a review of scholarly research on the structure and function of plant vessels, as well as the corresponding methods, measurements, scientific challenges on the influence on vulnerability curve and the relationships with other features of vessel length, as well as our knowledge gaps. Future efforts should be placed on: 1) improvement of the materials for penetration for their completion, easy-to-use, measurement accuracy, and new technology; 2) sound research on vessel network of different organs, as well as a database on vessels of different functional groups and climate zones; 3) the change in vessel diameter and other structural features with length; 4) optical measurements of xylem vulnerability for additional evidences on the roles of artificial open vessels. Advancing our knowledge on the role of vessel length in hydraulic function of plants will provide us with a theoretical foundation for improvement of drought-tolerant and drought-resistant species.

    Research Articles
    Litter dynamics of evergreen deciduous broad-leaved mixed forests and its influential factors in Shennongjia, China
    LIU Lu, ZHAO Chang-Ming, XU Wen-Ting, SHEN Guo-Zhen, XIE Zong-Qiang
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  619-628.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0052
    Abstract ( 1553 )   Full Text ( 102 )   PDF (1288KB) ( 857 )   Save
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    Aims Litter is an important component of terrestrial ecosystems. The dynamics of litter can reflect the stage of terrestrial ecosystems and the impact of environment on vegetation. Our objective was to explore the dynamics of litter production and standing crop in evergreen deciduous broad-leaved mixed forests and the underlying factors.

    Methods During 2009-2015, we observed the litter production and the standing crop of a typical vegetation at Shennongjia, Hubei Province and analyzed their dynamics and relationships with meteorological factors.

    Important findings 1) The results showed that the average annual litter production and standing crop were 5.94 t·hm-2 and 10.46 t·hm-2, respectively. Additionally, there was no remarkable inter-annual changing trend between 2009 and 2014, nevertheless a significant lower value appeared in 2015 with much more days of late spring coldness. 2) The seasonal dynamics presented double peaks, in March to May and October separately. 3) The monthly litter production was positively correlated with the monthly average air temperature of the previous 1-4 months, but negatively correlated with that in the 8th, 9th and 10th months before the month. In addition, it was negatively associated with the monthly average relative humidity of the 6th, 7th and 10th months before the month. 4) The average seasonality index of litter production was 0.032, which was strongly positively correlated with the annual average air temperature. We concluded that the phenomenon of long-term late spring coldness will affect annual litter production and standing crop significantly. The monthly average air temperature and relative humidity had significant lag effect on the seasonal dynamics of litter production, and the annual average air temperature had positive influence on the seasonality index of litter production in the major forest types in north subtropics.

    Radial growth responses of Picea likiangensis to climate variabilities at different altitudes in Yulong Snow Mountain, southwest China
    ZHANG Yun, YIN Ding-Cai, TIAN Kun, ZHANG Wei-Guo, HE Rong-Hua, HE Wen-Qing, SUN Jiang-Mei, LIU Zhen-Ya
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  629-639.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0003
    Abstract ( 1031 )   Full Text ( 62 )   PDF (1217KB) ( 540 )   Save
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    Aims The objective of this study was to determine the relationships between radial growth in Picea likiangensisand climate variables along an altitudinal gradient in Yulong Snow Mountain of southwest China.

    Methods Tree-ring samples were collected at low (2898 m), intermediate (3309 m) and high (3639 m) altitudes in Yulong Snow Mountain. Residual chronologies were established by using the tree-ring width data. Relationships between the residual chronologies and climatic factors were determined by using response function analysis (RFA), redundancy analysis (RDA) and moving interval response analysis (MIRA).

    Important findings The radial growth in P. likiangensis was influenced by both temperature and precipitation along an altitudinal gradient in Yulong Snow Mountain, but the seasonal response patterns varied with altitudes. It was significantly and positively correlated with precipitation from January through March of the current year at all the three altitudinal sites. The precipitation in post-growing season of the current year imposed a negative influence on radial growth at the sites of low and intermediate altitudes; whereas the effect was positive at the high altitude site. Spring drought of the current year was found to be another important factor affecting tree growth at the low and intermediate altitudes, while the current July temperature accelerated the radial growth at the high altitude. Results of RDA were generally consistent with that of RFA, indicating the effectiveness of RDA for quantifying the relationships between tree-ring width index and climatic factors. The results of MIRA indicated that variations in temperature and precipitation on a short-term scale also influenced tree growth. Based on the responses of tree growth to climate at the three altitudes and future climate predictions, the radial growth in P. likiangensis would likely be enhanced at the high altitude in the Yulong Snow Mountain, but the response patterns are uncertain at the low and intermediate altitudes.

    Extraction of aquatic plants based on continuous removal method and analysis of its temporal and spatial changes—A case study of Guanting Reservoir
    WANG Xing, GONG Zhao-Ning, JING Ran, ZHANG Lei, JIN Dian-Dian
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  640-652.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0240
    Abstract ( 1123 )   Full Text ( 68 )   PDF (6045KB) ( 711 )   Save
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    Aims Screening of spectral characteristic variables is one of the important means for aquatic plant recognition, and it is widely applied in aquatic plant species identification. In this paper, a method for identifying aquatic plants species was constructed by combining extracted spectral feature information with the multi-temporal Landsat 8 OLI image data analysis.

    Methods In analyzing reflectance spectra of aquatic plants, the method of continuum removal for mineral analysis was introduced. The spectral resampling was performed on the measured spectral curve, and the spectral absorption depth was characterized by the continuous removal of the spectral resampling results. One-way ANOVA method was used to compare the seven spectral resampling bands and the three continuum removal absorption depth sensitive bands. Then the characteristic bands with significant differentiation of different aquatic plants were selected. The continuum removal was applied on remote sensing image processing. The results of the spectroscopic analysis were used to guide the identification of aquatic plants in using Landsat 8 OLI. The classification of aquatic plants was carried out by using support vector machine (SVM) classification.

    Important findings The results of the measured spectrum resampling are similar to the atmospheric calibration of Landsat 8 OLI in the same position, and the results of the measured spectral curves can be used to guide the classification of Landsat 8 OLI. The one-way ANOVA method was used to compare seven spectral resampling bands and three continuous systems in absorbing sensitive wavelengths. The results showed that the short wave infrared 1 band, which was processed by continuum removal (SWIR1CR), was the best in distinguishing different types of aquatic plants. In this paper, the continuum removal was applied on remote sensing image processing, and it was found that the SWIR1CR band can better distinguish the submerged plants and the emergent plants. The normalized differential vegetation index and SWIR1CR band were well capable of identifying submerged plants, floating plants and emergent plants. Based on the SVM classification method, the classification accuracies of aquatic plants were 86.33%. The distribution of aquatic plants showed that the aquatic plants were mainly distributed in shallow water areas of the south north bank of Guanting reservoir. When the aquatic plant distribution area reached the peak, it accounted for about 35.13% of the total area of the reservoir. The growth distribution of submerged plants changed significantly during a year. The stem and leaves of submerged plants began to emerge in early June. Aquatic plants began to wither in October, and aquatic plants accounted for only 20% of the total area in November.

    Drivers of composition and density pattern of tree seedlings in a secondary mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest, Jiaohe, Jilin, China
    MENG Ling-Jun, YAO Jie, QIN Jiang-Huan, FAN Chun-Yu, ZHANG Chun-Yu, ZHAO Xiu-Hai
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  653-662.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0025
    Abstract ( 1289 )   Full Text ( 40 )   PDF (1102KB) ( 518 )   Save
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    Aims Our aim is to explore the composition and temporal dynamics of tree seedlings and to further understand the impacts and relative importance of biotic neighborhood and habitat heterogeneity on seedling density patterns in a secondary mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest in Jiaohe, Jilin Province, North-eastern China.

    Methods We established 209 seedling census stations in the mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest. Based on two seedling censuses conducted in 2016 and 2017, we analyzed species composition and quantitative dynamics of seedlings. Generalized mixed linear models were used to test the relative effects of biotic neighborhood and habitat heterogeneity on seedling density patterns.

    Important findings (1) A total of 4 245 seedlings were investigated in all seedling census stations of this plot, belonging to 12 genera, 10 families and 18 species. The number of new-born seedlings varied greatly among species and census years. Fraxinus mandschurica and Tilia amurensis seedlings occurred and died in large numbers. (2) At the community level, the sum of conspecific adult basal area, the soil total phosphorus and available potassium exhibited significant positive effects on seedling density. The habitat suitable for trees was also suitable for seedlings. (3) The factors influencing seedling density of Fraxinus mandschurica were consistent with those of seedling density at the community level. Pinus koraiensis had significant habitat preference, it had higher density in the habitat with lower moisture, soil total phosphorus, available nitrogen, and available phosphorus. Conspecific adult neighbor effects on annual seedling density was more significant than on perennial seedling density. This study suggests that dispersal limitation and habitat filtering together affect seedling density pattern, and the relative importance of biotic neighbors and habitat heterogeneity varies among seedling species and age classes.

    Fruit types and seed dispersal modes of plants in different communities in Shilin Geopark, Yunnan, China
    YU Xiao-Ya, LI Yu-Hui, YANG Guang-Rong
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  663-671.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0242
    Abstract ( 1156 )   Full Text ( 59 )   PDF (1077KB) ( 539 )   Save
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    Aims Fruit types and seed dispersal modes of plants play an important role in forest regeneration and colonization. Exploring characteristics of fruit types and dispersal modes in different plant communities could improve our understanding on the natural expansion mechanism of vegetation restoration, which is helpful for reducing karst rocky desertification. Our objective was to study the effects of fruit types and seed dispersal modes on vegetation restoration in Shilin Geopark, Yunnan, China.

    Methods Based on the species list of different communities investigated in Shilin Geopark, the fruit type of species was determined based on Flora of China. The seed dispersal mode of each species was determined based on published literature, the Kew Seed Information Database ( and the fruit and seed morphological traits.

    Important findings 1) In total 16 fruit types (include spore) were observed for the 282 vascular plant species in the communities in Shilin Geopark. Achenes (17.02%), capsules (16.67%), berries (14.18%) and drupes (12.41%) were the most common fruit types. The most abundant fruit types among woody species, herbaceous species and lianas were drupes (31.96%), achenes (25.17%) and berries (40.48%), respectively. The fruit type spectrums of woody plants, herbs and lianas in communities were not significantly different. From zonal forest, secondary forest, shrubland, shrub tussock to Pinus yunnanensis plantation forest, the proportions of berries and drupes species decreased significantly, and those of achenes, caryopsis and capsules species increased. 2) The dominant seed dispersal modes of different plant communities in Shilin Geopark were zoochory (47.87%) and anemochorous (33.69%). The seed dispersal mode spectrum of woody plants, herbs and lianas in the communities of Shilin Geopark were not significantly different from each other. From zonal forest, secondary forest, shrubland, shrub tussock to Pinus yunnanensis plantation forest, the proportion of zoochory species reduced by 31%-36%, while that of anemochory species increased by 73%-87%. 3) The seed dispersal modes affected species selection and vegetation restoration strategy directly. To restore vegetation quickly and effectively, the species which have natural spread ability should be selected for afforestation plan, and species dispersal corridors are needed.

    Effects of intercropping on photosynthetic rate and net photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency of maize under nitrogen addition
    ZHU Qi-Lin, XIANG Rui, TANG Li, LONG Guang-Qiang
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  672-680.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0033
    Abstract ( 1248 )   Full Text ( 62 )   PDF (1519KB) ( 556 )   Save
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    Aims The aim of this study was to explore the response of photosynthetic carbon assimilation and photosynthetic nitrogen (N) use efficiency (PNUE) of maize to intercropping system of maize and potato under different N addition, which has a great significance for the N regulation and N fertilizer management for the increase in intercropping yield.

    Methods In order to analyze the effects of intercropping and additional N level on leaf characteristics, photosynthetic parameters, PNUE and yield of maize, field experiment with mono- and inter-cropping system under four N addition levels (N0, 0 kg·hm -2, N1, 125 kg·hm -2, N2, 250 kg·hm -2 and N3, 375 kg·hm -2) treatments were set up.

    Important findings The results showed that inter-cropping planting significantly increased leaf dry mass of maize and leaf mass per area compared with maize monoculture. Among different N treatment levels (except N3), leaf area of maize under intercropping close to potato increased compared with that under maize monoculture. Intercropping also increased the light saturation point of photosynthesis and dark respiration rate of maize compared with maize monoculture. PNUE decreased as the increasing of N levels in monoculture maize, intercropping maize leaves close to potato (I-P) and leaves close to maize of other row (I-M), and the largest decline was found in I-P. At the same N level (less than 250 kg N·hm-2), PNUE and photosynthetic rate (Pn) of maize in I-P were significantly higher than those in M and I-M system. Intercropping system significantly improve the yield of maize (land equivalent ratio > 1). This study concluded that higher PNUE and Pn of maize close to the potato contributed to the increase of intercropped maize yield under less than or equal to 250 kg N·hm-2 addition.

    Physiological and ecological responses to drought and heat stresses in Osmanthus fragrans ‘Boyejingui’
    WANG Jun-Yu, WANG Xiao-Dong, MA Yuan-Dan, FU Lu-Cheng, ZHOU Huan-Huan, WANG Bin, ZHANG Ru-Min, GAO Yan
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  681-691.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2018.0017
    Abstract ( 870 )   Full Text ( 32 )   PDF (1116KB) ( 463 )   Save
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    Aims Drought and heat stresses are two critical environmental factors affecting the growth and development of plants; climate change has exacerbated the occurrence of these conditions in many parts of the world. To elucidate the mechanisms of responses to drought and heat stresses in Osmanthus fragrans, we studied changes in nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions using 3-year-old seedlings (cultivar ‘Boyejingui’) under conditions of low drought (LD), moderate drought (MD) and severe drought (SD), interactively with heat treatments (40 °C in daytime (12 h) and 30 °C at night (12 h)).

    Methods The VOCs emissions were measured using the dynamic headspace air-circulation method, and the composition and content of VOCs were analyzed using the thermal desorption system/gas chromatography/mass spectrometer technique (TDS-GC-MS). We determined the content of NSC and activities of lipoxygenase (LOX), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) and 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR) in seedlings under different drought and heat treatments.

    Important findings The content of NSC in leaves was not significantly affected by drought stress. The contents of soluble sugar and starch were significantly reduced by heat stress as well as combination of drought and heat stresses. The combination of severe drought and heat treatment significantly reduced the contents of glucose, fructose, sucrose and starch by 47.7%, 46.4%, 34.4% and 38.2% (p < 0.05), respectively. There were differences among the activities of HMGR, DXR and LOX in response to drought and heat stresses. Under drought and combined stresses, the activities of HMGR and DXR increased first and then decreased, and the LOX activity increased. The activities of HMGR, DXR and LOX were significantly higher under heat stress than in controls. The release of terpenes increased first and then decreased with the level of drought treatments. MD and SD stress stimulated the release of terpenes by 37.9% and 32.3% (p < 0.05), respectively, but the combined stresses induced a reduction in the release of terpenes. The release of aldehydes increased significantly in response to drought, heat treatment, and their combination. The results indicated that ‘Boyejingui’ seedlings can enhance resistance to drought stress by adjusting contents of non-structural carbohydrate and releasing terpene compounds. They also adjusted the biosynthesis of terpene compounds and GLVs emission to resist against heat stress. However, the biosynthesis pathway of terpene compounds was blocked in the occurrence of both drought and heat stresses, when the enhanced release of GLVs facilitated the resistance. Under heat stress, moderate and severe drought caused severe damage to cell membranes, thus reducing the self-regulatory capacity.

    Response of soil enzyme activities to litter input changes in two secondary Castanopsis carlessii forests in subtropical China
    WEI Cui-Cui, LIU Xiao-Fei, LIN Cheng-Fang, LI Xian-Feng, LI Yan, ZHENG Yu-Xiong
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2018, 42 (6):  692-702.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0247
    Abstract ( 1009 )   Full Text ( 63 )   PDF (1249KB) ( 501 )   Save
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    Aims Enzymes play an important role in the decomposition of soil organic matter. Changes in net primary productivity in response to climate change are likely to affect litter inputs to forest soil. However, the effects of altered litter input on soil enzyme activities remain poorly understood in subtropical forests. Thus, this study is designed to find out if litter manipulation has an effect on enzymes in different subtropical Castanopsis carlessii forest.

    Methods Three treatments including double litter (DL), no litter (NL) and control (CT) were installed in a secondary C. carlesii forest and a human-assisted naturally regenerated C. carlesii forest, to investigate the responses of 6 soil extracellular enzyme activities.

    Important findings The activities of Cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG), Polyphenol oxidase (PhOx) and Peroxidase (PerOx) in the secondary C. carlesii forest were higher than those in the human-assisted naturally regenerated C. carlesii forest, while acid phosphatase (AP) and β-1,4-glucosidase (βG) activities had no significant difference between the two forests. Compared to control, both NL and DL treatments decreased the activities of AP, βG and NAG, but had no effect on the activities of CBH and PerOx, and DL treatment decreased only the activity of PhOx in two forests. Except for NAG activity, the activities of AP, βG and PerOx decreased more in the human-assisted naturally regenerated C. carlesii forest than in the secondary C. carlesii forest after litter manipulaition. Both Pearson correlation analysis and redundancy analysis showed that soil enzyme activities were significantly correlated with soil moisture content, carbon (C), nitrogen (N), microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) contents. Therefore, changes in litter input (both increase and decrease) could decrease some major soil enzyme activities such as AP, βG and NAG in both secondary and human-assisted naturally regenerated C. carlesii forests by decreasing soil moisture content, C and N, MBC and MBN contents. Based on the responses of soil enzyme activity, we conclude that the C and N cycling in secondary C. carlesii forest could be faster compared to that in the human-assisted forest of the same species in the subtropical forest ecosystems.

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