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Table of Content
    Volume 41 Issue 2
    10 February 2017

    The scenery of native Artemisia gmelinii communities in the loess hilly region (Photographed by Lü Ting). Lü et al. used stable oxygen-18 isotope combining MixSIR Bayesian mixing model to determine soil water use strategy of native A. gmelinii communities established after abandonment of cultivated lands for 7 and 30 years and planted Caragana korshinskii after 30 years (Pages 175–185 of this issue).

    /attached/file/20190327/20190327132055_67.pdf" target="_blank">Cover and contents of Vol. 41, No. 2, 2017

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    Research Articles
    Vegetation cover change and driving factors in Fujian Province between 1975 and 2014
    Chao LI, Shu-Qing ZHAO, Jing-Yun FANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (2):  157-164.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0223
    Abstract ( 1392 )   Full Text ( 118 )   PDF (5270KB) ( 1942 )   Save
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    Aims Fujian Province has been one of the most severe soil erosion regions since Ming and Qing Dynasty in China. Recently, several ecological restoration projects have been implemented and they have significantly changed vegetation cover in this region.
    Methods We analyzed the four-decade vegetation cover change in Fujian Province using seven time-series data of Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM), and Operational Land Imager (OLI) between 1975 and 2014. We further explored the possible drivers on vegetation cover change by incorporating statistical data of plantation, cropland and urbanized area.
    Important findings Vegetation coverage in Fujian Province has increased from 69.0% to 77.8% between 1975 and 2014. However, a slight decrease was observed between 1995 and 2005. Spatially, forest was the primary vegetation type in the northwest, where croplands and human settlements were scattered along rivers or oceans. Shrubs and bare lands were also scattered across the northwest. In southwest, the areas of bare land, shrub land and cropland decreased, while areas of forest and human settlements expanded. The vegetation coverage and urbanized area increased at the cost of cropland and bare land.

    Population structure and spatial pattern of Caragana tibetica communities in Nei Mongol shrub-encroached grassland
    Pu-Jin ZHANG, Hua QING, Lei ZHANG, Yan-Da XU, Lan MU, Ru-Han YE, Xiao QIU, Hong Chang, Hai-Hua SHEN, Jie YANG
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (2):  165-174.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0448
    Abstract ( 1598 )   Full Text ( 120 )   PDF (3085KB) ( 2018 )   Save
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    Aims The community structure and function of the shrub-encroached grassland, as well as its formation mechanism, is one of hot scientific problems in vegetation science. The spatial pattern analysis is an important means for studying plant population interactions and the relationships between plant population and environment. The shrub-encroached grassland is one major vegetation type in Nei Mongol. Knowledge on the spatial pattern of shrub can improve our understanding on adaptive characteristics of shrub to steppe environment.
    Methods We chose Caragana tibetica encroached grassland distributed in Ordos City as research objects. The spatial position of each C. tibetica individual in 64 m × 64 m study plot was determined by a method of “three-distance location method”, and then the spatial pattern and intraspecific associations of C. tibetica individuals was analyzed with the point pattern analysis.
    Important findings The results showed that C. tibetica population was at the rising stage. The mature individuals showed a uniform distribution at the scale of less than 3.7 m, subsequently exhibiting a random distribution with an increased scale. The juvenile individuals showed an aggregation distribution at the scale of 0.3-20.4 m, but a uniform distribution at other scales. The dead C. tibetica individuals were distributed aggregately at the scale from 0.7 to 1.4 m, but randomly at other scales. An indistinctive positive association was found for live C. tibetica individuals to dead individuals at the scale of less than 9.9 m, but no associations was found between them at other scales. The mature individuals negatively interacted with juveniles at the scale of larger than 2.2 m, but unassociated at the other scales.

    Soil water use strategy of dominant species in typical natural and planted shrubs in loess hilly region
    Ting LÜ, Xi-Ning ZHAO, Xiao-Dong GAO, Yan-Hui PAN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (2):  175-185.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0253
    Abstract ( 1110 )   Full Text ( 128 )   PDF (629KB) ( 1695 )   Save
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    Aims Artemisia gmelinii is a dominant specie naturally established after abandonment of cultivated lands in the Loess Plateau, and Caragana korshinskii is one of the main planted shrub species to control soil erosion. Improved understanding of water use strategies of these two species is of great significance to evaluate the sustainable development of the Loess Plateau under the trend of climate warming and increasing drought events.
    Methods Stable oxygen-18 isotope was used to determine seasonal variations in the water sources of native A. gmelinii communities established after abandonment of cultivated lands for 7 and 30 years and planted C. korshinskii after 30 years. The contributions of soil water from different depths to water uptake were estimated by the MixSIR Bayesian mixing model. The geometric mean regression method was used to fit the line of precipitation to get the local meteoric water line (LWML).
    Important findings The stable hydrogen isotope rate (δD) and stable oxygen isotope rate (δ18O) of soil water and xylem water plotted to the right side of the LWML, indicating that the isotopic compositions of soil water were enriched due to evaporation. The native A. gmelinii communities established after abandonment of cultivated lands for 7 years and planted C. korshinskii after 30 years showed plasticity in switching water sources from different soil layers, extracting water from shallow soil (0-40 cm) when soil water was available, but deeper soil (40-80 cm) when shallow soil water was dry. In contrast, A. gmelinii growing in site after cultivation abandonment for 30 years mainly relied on water from the surface soil (0-10 cm) throughout the growing season. Our results suggest that the ability of A. gmelinii to compete for soil water reduces with aging of the community while the planted C. korshinskii will have competitive advantage under the condition of increasing frequency of drought events in the future.

    Interactive effects of soil warming and nitrogen addition on fine root production of Chinese fir seedlings
    Shun-Zeng SHI, De-Cheng XIONG, Fei DENG, Jian-Xin FENG, Chen-Sen XU, Bo-Yuan ZHONG, Yun-Yu CHEN, Guang-Shui CHEN, Yu-Sheng YANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (2):  186-195.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0274
    Abstract ( 1143 )   Full Text ( 117 )   PDF (5656KB) ( 1680 )   Save
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    Aims There have been a large number of studies on the independent separate responses of fine roots to warming and nitrogen deposition, but with contradictory reporting. Fine root production plays a critical role in ecosystem carbon, nutrient and water cycling, yet how it responds to the interactive warming and nitrogen addition is not well understood. In the present study, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of soil warming and nitrogen addition on fine root growth of 1-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) seedlings in subtropical China.
    Methods A mesocosm experiment, with a factorial design of soil warming (ambient, +5 °C) and nitrogen addition (ambient, ambient + 40 kg·hm-2·a-1, ambient + 80 kg·hm-2·a-1), was carried out in the Chenda State-owned Forest Farm in Sanming City, Fujian Province, China. Fine root production (indexed by the number of fine roots emerged per tube of one year) was measured biweekly using minirhizotrons from March of 2014 to February of 2015.
    Important findings (1) The two-way ANOVA showed that soil warming had a significant effect on fine root production, while nitrogen addition and soil warming × nitrogen addition had no effect. (2) The three-way ANOVA (soil warming, nitrogen addition and diameter class) showed that soil warming, diameter class and soil warming × diameter class had significant effects on fine root production, especially for the number of fine roots in 0-1 mm diameter class that had been significantly increased by soil warming. Compared with the 1-2 mm roots, the 0-1 mm roots seemed more flexible. (3) Repeated measures of ANOVA (soil warming, nitrogen addition and season) showed that soil warming, season, soil warming × season, and soil warming × nitrogen addition × season had significant effects on fine root production. In spring, the number of fine roots was significantly increased both by soil warming and soil warming × season, while soil warming, nitrogen addition, soil warming × nitrogen addition significantly decreased fine root production in the summer. (4) Soil warming, soil layer, soil warming × soil layer had significant effects on fine root production. The number of in-growth fine roots was significantly increased by soil warming at the 20-30 cm depth only. It seemed that warming forced fine roots to grow deeper in the soil. In conclusion, soil warming significantly increased fine root production, but they had different responses and were dependent of different diameter classes, seasons and soil layers. Nitrogen addition had no effect on fine root production. Only in spring and summer, soil warming and nitrogen addition had significant interactive effects.

    Effects of nitrogen addition on photosynthetic characteristics of Leymus chinensis in the temperate grassland of Nei Mongol, China
    Zhan-Wei ZHAI, Ji-Rui GONG, Qin-Pu LUO, Yan PAN, Taogetao BAOYIN, Sha XU, Min LIU, Li-Li YANG
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (2):  196-208.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0128
    Abstract ( 1393 )   Full Text ( 118 )   PDF (3819KB) ( 2101 )   Save
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    Aims The increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition due to human activity and climate change greatly causes grassland ecosystems shifting from being naturally N-limited to N-eutrophic or N-saturated, and further affecting the growth of grass species. The aims of this study are: 1) to evaluate the effects of different N addition levels on morphology and photosynthetic characteristics of Leymus chinensis; 2) to determine the critical N level to facilitate L. chinensis growth.
    Methods We conducted a different N addition levels experiment in dominant species in the temperate steppe of Nei Mongol. The aboveground biomass, morphological and leaf physiological traits, pigment contents, chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and biochemical parameters of L. chinensis were investigated.
    Important findings Our results showed that aboveground biomass first increased and then decreased with the increased N, having the highest values at the 10 g N·m-2·a?1 treatment, but the 25 g N·m-2·a?1 still significantly increased the aboveground biomass relative to 0 g N·m-2·a?1. Leymus chinensis accommodate low N situation through allocating less N to carboxylation system and decreasing leaf mass per area (LMA) in order to get more light energy. Moderate N addition captured more light energy through increasing total chlorophyll (Chl) contents and decreasing the ratio of Chl a/b. Moderate N addition increased LMA, carboxylation efficiency, maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax), maximum electron transport rate (Jmax) and decreased Jmax/Vcmax, thus allocating more N to carboxylation system to enhance carboxylation capability. Moreover, the photochemical activity of PSII was increased through higher effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry, electron transport rate and photochemical quenching coefficient. Excessive N addition had negative effects on physiological variables of L. chinensis due to lower carboxylation capability and photochemical activity of PSII, further leading to decreased net photosynthetic rate, whereas increased non-photochemical quenching coefficient and carotenoids played the role in the dissipation of excess excitation energy. Overall, moderate N addition facilitated the photosynthetic characteristics of dominant species, but excessive N addition inhibited photosynthetic characteristics. The most appropriate N addition for the growth of L. chinensis was 5-10 g N·m-2·a?1 in the temperate steppe of Nei Mongol, China.

    Effects of environmental factors on gross caloric values of three life-forms aquatic plants on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, China
    Yang WANG, Lin-Lin MIAO, Dan YU, Chun-Hua LIU, Zhong WANG
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (2):  209-218.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0043
    Abstract ( 1352 )   Full Text ( 114 )   PDF (3297KB) ( 1815 )   Save
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    Aims Gross caloric value (GCV) reflected plants’ capability of converting solar energy. It provided a reliable indicator of plants’ adaptations to environments in perspective of energy conversion and fixation. The aims of this study were (1) to illustrate the characteristics of GCV of aquatic plants on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, (2) to explore the geographical and environmental patterns and (3) to discuss the underlying mechanisms in forming the patterns.
    Methods In July and August 2015, we collected 533 samples of aquatic plants’ leaves in 143 field sites on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, and measured their GCV using SDACM-4000 oxygen bomb calorimeter. Together with mean annual temperature (MAT) of climatic factor and properties of water body, this study compared the differences of GCV among submerged, emergent and floating-leaved plants by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s HSD. We further regressed GCV of submerged and emergent plants against geographical and climatic factors and properties of water body by simple regression to explore the relative effects of environmental factors on GCV.
    Important findings On the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, the mean GCV was (15.95 ± 3.90) kJ·g-1. Among the three life forms, the rank of GCV was the emergent plants (18.10 kJ·g-1) > the floating-leaved plants (16.77 kJ·g-1) > the submerged plants (14.31 kJ·g-1). With an increasing latitude, the GCV of emergent and submerged plants increased. Only GCV of emergent plants decreased with increasing altitude and temperature. The GCV of emergent and submerged plants increased with increased water salinity. Dissolved oxygen had significant negative effects on emergent plants, while pH value had no significant effects.

    Responses of phenolic acid and defensive enzyme activities to mechanical damage in Artemisia frigida
    Meng-Meng LIU, Li JIA, Lu-Yun CHENG, Hong-Qin ZHANG, Xiao-Lin ZANG, Taogetao BAOYIN, Ru-Min ZHANG, Yan GAO
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (2):  219-230.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0161
    Abstract ( 1886 )   Full Text ( 102 )   PDF (3538KB) ( 1644 )   Save
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    Aims The study aims at understanding the effects of feed intake and trample damage on the phenolic acid formation and antioxidant enzyme activities in Artemisia frigida, and elucidating the adaptive mechanisms in A. frigida to grazing in secondary metabolites and their related enzyme activities.
    Methods We analyzed the phenolic acid content and the activities of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and protective enzymes in leaves and roots in A. frigida under three levels (light, moderate, and heavy) of manipulative grazing condition. The measurements of the 9 phenolic acid contents started after 6 h of the mechanical damage of the plants by using the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and the enzyme activities in leaves and roots were measured by a spectrophotometry method.
    Important findings The light damage treatment induced productions of PPO, PAL and significantly (p < 0.05) increased antioxidant enzyme activities in the leaves and roots of A. frigida. The contents of PPO, PAL and antioxidant enzymes increased with increasing intensity of mechanical damage. Compared to the control, the content of free caffeic, syringic, ferulic and cinnamic acid in the leaves A. frigida were significantly elevated (p < 0.05) by 150.4%, 93.5%, 154.4% and 121.7%, respectively. They were significantly (p < 0.05) positively correlated with PAL activity in the moderate damage treatment. The content of free chlorogenic acid and catechol decreased by 91.1%, and 69.3%, respectively, compared with the control they had a negative correlation with PPO activity in the heavy damage treatment. The contents of gallic and protocatechuic acids increased (p < 0.05) by 280.6% and 215.7%, respectively, in the heavy damage treatment. With increasing intensity of mechanical damage, the content of 9 free phenolic acids significantly increased in roots but the increasing range was less than the one in leaves. Mechanical damage induced an increasing trend in the total amount of free and bounded phenolic acids in the leaves but a decreasing trend in the total amount of bounded phenolic acids in the roots of A. frigida. The results indicated that mechanical damage could firstly induce an increase of antioxidant enzymes and key enzymes in phenolic metabolism in A. frigida, leading to the accumulation of antioxidant substances of phenolic acids, further regulate the biosynthesis of lignins, quinones and tannins, and then enhance the resistance to mechanical damage and improved the tolerance of A. frigida to grazing.

    Data Paper
    Distribution, community characteristics and classification of Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China
    Xian-Guo QIAO, Ke GUO, Li-Qing ZHAO, Chang-Cheng LIU, Hai-Wei ZHAO, Dong-Jie HOU, Chen-Guang GAO
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (2):  231-237.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0053
    Abstract ( 1446 )   Full Text ( 148 )   PDF (2244KB) ( 3004 )   Save
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    Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe is the most typical formation of desert steppe in China. Based on the primary plots data obtained from fieldworks during the growing seasons from 2010 to 2016 as well as some earlier records, we studied the Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe across China systematically, including the eco-geographical distributions, community characteristics and classifications. The results showed that S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe distributed mainly on the Ulan Qab Plateau and western Xilin Gol Plateau. Due to the arid biotope of S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe, quantitative characteristics of the assemblage including height, coverage, biomass and species richness were normally lower than that of most Stipa formations in Eurasian steppe region. Moreover, 165 seed plants belonging to 85 genera and 29 families were recorded in the 80 study sites, in which rare species (occurrence frequency <20%) made up 87% of the total plants while common species and constant species could only be found occasionally. Species with the occurrence frequency exceeding 50% included S. tianschanica var. klemenzii, Convolvulus ammannii, Cleistogenes songorica, Allium tenuissimum. In addition, Hemicryptophyte and therophyte were the two dominant life forms, covering 55% and 20% of the species, respectively. As for the ecological type of water, typical xerophytes accounted for 47% of all species which is followed by super-xerophytes and meso-xerophytes. Middle Asian areal-type and east Palaeo-North areal-type were the two major floristic elements, containing 37% and 26% of the species, respectively. Based on the life forms and dominances of the species within the community, S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China could be classified into 6 association groups, 29 associations.

    Anatomical characteristics of xylem in tree rings and its relationship with environments
    Liang-Jun ZHU, Zong-Shan LI, Xiao-Chun WANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (2):  238-251.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0198
    Abstract ( 3043 )   Full Text ( 135 )   PDF (4558KB) ( 2700 )   Save
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    The anatomical traits of xylem are the characteristics of tree rings at the cellular and subcellular scales, and are often reflection of environmental signals. Studying the relationships between anatomical traits of xylem and environmental change not only provide physiological explanations to the statistics in dendroclimatology, but can also provide a new vision for studying the adaptation process and response strategies of tree growth to climate change. In this paper, with the relationships between the anatomical characteristics of xylem in tree-rings (cell chronology) and climate change as a main thread, we first outline the basic principles and mechanisms of wood anatomical features to record environmental signals, and expounded the basic methods involved in the process of xylem anatomy. Secondly, we discuss the relationship between the anatomical features of xylem and climate factors. We then propose the following as possible directions of future research based on the existing knowledge gap in the topical area: (1) to explore the temporal and spatial variations in the anatomical characteristics of xylem in tree-rings along radial and tangential directions and the relationships with environmental changes; (2) to explore the threshold of tree growth response to environmental plasticity and adaptation processes; (3) to assess the synergistic and antagonistic effects as well as the formation mechanisms of climate response among different tree-ring proxies, and to determine the specific roles and contributions of major climatic factors during different periods of tree-ring formation.

    Interactive effects of ozone and drought stress on plants: A review
    Feng GAO, Pin LI, Zhao-Zhong FENG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (2):  252-268.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0195
    Abstract ( 1318 )   Full Text ( 122 )   PDF (4558KB) ( 2306 )   Save
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    Ground-level ozone (O3) and drought are two key factors limiting plant growth. O3 can enter into the plant tissue through the stomata, then causing the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which inspires programmed cell death. Drought usually induces the accumulation of ROS due to damage to antioxidant systems of plants. The effects of two kinds of stress on plants are similar due to the accumulation of ROS, resulting in reduced photosynthesis rate and physiological metabolism, eventually decreased plant growth and biomass. Nevertheless, O3 and drought interacts synergistically to accumulate detrimental effects or antagonistically to reduce harmful effects. Actually, it is complex interactive process between O3 and drought. On the one hand, O3 triggers stomatal sluggishness or even dysfunction, which exacerbates water transpiration of leaves, water loss from plants and further O3 phytotoxicity. On the other hand, drought induces stomatal closure, and thus protecting plants against the O3 influx and evaporation of water. However, prolonged drought could limit the uptake of CO2 and thus result in reduced plant growth. The response of plants to both O3 and drought not only depends on the occurring sequence and duration of any factor but also rely on the difference in physiological metabolism of the plant itself. The interactive effects of O3 and drought on stomatal characteristics, photosynthetic carbon mechanism, antioxidant response and growth development are reviewed in this paper and the aspects to be further studied are also suggested.

    An update of the vegetation classification in China
    Yong-Chang SONG, En-Rong YAN, Kun SONG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (2):  269-278.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0255
    Abstract ( 1746 )   Full Text ( 108 )   PDF (2888KB) ( 3591 )   Save
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    The vegetation classification in China was updated by referring to recent advances for vegetation classification worldwide and on the basis of our former paper Recognition and Proposal on the Vegetation Classification System of China (hereafter, “Recognition and Proposal”). In this revision, the criteria for vegetation classification were discussed and unified, and a quantified standard for high, medium, and low level units in a new hierarchical classification scheme was supplemented. Compared with the old classification scheme in “Recognition and Proposal”, the units at the level of vegetation type were substantially changed. Finally, in order to improve mutual communication among international peers, a comparison was carried out between the new revised scheme and each of International Classification and Mapping of Vegetation of UNESCO, The National Vegetation Classification Standard of United States, and The Braun-Blanquet Classification Scheme.

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