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Table of Content
    Volume 41 Issue 8
    10 August 2017

    The scenery of planted forests in Saihanba, Hebei, China. Xing et al. studied tree growth and carbon sequestration of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica plantations from 2006 to 2016, and compared their differences of different diameter at breast height classes (Pages 840–849 of this issue).

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    Research Articles
    Arbuscular mycorrhiza improves plant adaptation to phosphorus deficiency through regulating the expression of genes relevant to carbon and phosphorus metabolism
    Li-Jiao XU, Xue-Lian JIANG, Zhi-Peng HAO, Tao LI, Zhao-Xiang WU, Bao-Dong CHEN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (8):  815-825.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0018
    Abstract ( 2056 )   Full Text ( 175 )   PDF (2693KB) ( 1434 )   Save
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    Aims Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis plays an important role in plant adaptation to phosphorus (P) deficiency. The mycorrhizal fungi can directly regulate P stress response of the host plants, and can also indirectly influence neighbor plants via AM exudates. This study aimed to reveal the regulation mechanisms of plant response to P deficiency by AM associations. Methods In a compartmentation cultivation experiment with Zea mays ‘B73’ and AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis ‘DAOM197198’, we investigated mycorrhizal effects on plant P nutrition and the expression of plant and fungal genes related to P and carbon (C) metabolisms under both low P (10 mg?kg-1) and high P (100 mg?kg-1) conditions. The cultivation system consisted of three compartments, namely donor compartment, buffer compartment and receiver compartment divided by two pieces of microporous filters with pore size of 0.45 μm. Maize plant in donor compartment inoculated with AM fungus served as a source of AM exudates. The microporous filters could restrict the development of extraradical mycelium of AM fungi, but allow diffusion of AM exudates. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify the gene expression levels both in maize plants and AM fungi. Important findings The experimental results indicated that under low P conditions mycorrhizal colonization increased plant dry weight and P concentration in donor plants, and up-regulated plant genes encoding P transporters Pht1;2, Pht1;6, phosphoenolpiruvate carboxylase (PEPC), inorganic pyrophosphatase (TC289), glycerol-3-phosphate transporter (G3PT) and malate synthase (MAS1). The expression of AM fungal genes encoding P transporter (GiPT), GlcNAc transporter (NGT1), GlcNAc kinase (HXK1b), GlcNAc phosphomutase (AGM1), UDP GlcNAc pyrophosphorylase (UAP1), chitin synthase (CHS1), GlcNAc-6-phosphate deacetylase (DAC1) and glucosamine-6-phosphate isomerase (NAG1) was significantly higher under low P conditions compared with high P conditions. However, for the receiver plants, plant dry mass and P concentration were only significantly increased by higher P addition, while inoculation treatment significantly up-regulated the expression of P transporter genes Pht1;2 and Pht1;6, C metabolism related genes G3PT, PEPC, TC289 and MAS1. The study proved that AM exudates could potentially stimulate plant response to P deficiency by regulating functional genes relevant to P and C metabolisms in the mycorrhizal associations.

    Effects of climate change on net primary productivity in Larix olgensis plantations based on process modeling
    Ya-Lin XIE, Hai-Yan WANG, Xiang-Dong LEI
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (8):  826-839.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0382
    Abstract ( 946 )   Full Text ( 129 )   PDF (1426KB) ( 1463 )   Save
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    Aims Climate change has significant effects on net primary productivity (NPP) in forests, but there is a large uncertainty in the direction and magnitude of the effects. Process-based models are important tools for understanding the responses of forests to climate change. The objective of the study is to simulate changes in NPP of Larix olgensis plantations under future climate scenarios using 3-PG model in order to guide the management of L. olgensis plantations in the context of global climate change.Methods Data were obtained for 30 permanent plots of L. olgensis plantations in Siping, Linjiang, Baishan, etc. of Jilin Province, and a process model, 3-PG model, was applied to simulate changes in NPP over a rotation period of 40 years under different climate scenarios. Parameter sensitivity was also determined. Important findings The locally parameterized 3-PG model well simulates the changes in NPP against the measured NPP data, with values between 272.79-844.80 g·m-2·a-1 and both mean relative error and relative root mean square error within 12%. The NPP in L. olgensis plantations would increase significantly with increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration, temperature and precipitation collectively. However, an increase in temperature alone would lead to a decrease in NPP, but increases in precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentration would increase NPP; the positive effect of increasing precipitation appears to be weaker than the negative effect of increasing temperature. Sensitivity analysis shows that the model performance is sensitive to the optimum temperature, stand age at which specific leaf area equals to half of the sum of specific leaf area at age 0 (SLA0) and that for mature leaves (SLA1), and days of production loss due to frost.

    Change of growth characters and carbon stocks in plantations of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica in Saihanba, Hebei, China
    Juan XING, Cheng-Yang ZHENG, Chan-Ying FENG, Fa-Xu ZENG
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (8):  840-849.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0060
    Abstract ( 1705 )   Full Text ( 118 )   PDF (4605KB) ( 1927 )   Save
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    Aims Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica is one of the main afforestation tree species in North China. It is important to study the characters of growth and carbon (C) sequestration, which can provide scientific basis for the sustainable management. Therefore, our study aims at quantifying the growth characters and C sequestration in these middle-aged plantations, and to investigate the effect of diameter at breast height (DBH) on those dynamics. Methods We selected a middle-aged P. sylvestris var. mongolica plantation as our permanent experimental plot, which is located in Saihanba, Hebei Province, China. DBH and height of all stands in this plot were measured in 2006 and 2016. Based on the anatomical trees and allometric equation, we calculated C density and sequestration from 2006 to 2016. We also analyzed C sequestration in different DBH groups in the study area. Important findings Our results showed that the carbon sink of those middle-age (age between 28 and 38 years old) plantation would be enhanced in future, and there were differences in characters of growth and C sequestration among DBH groups. The decadal increment rate of DBH and height were 4.19% and 1.97%, and the increment rate was the lowest in the 0-10 cm DBH class. The mortality rate of the plantation was 8.39%, with 7.82% mortality occurred in 0-10 cm tree size class. The forest stands biomass carbon stocks in 2006 and 2016 were 59.04 and 109.64 t?hm-2, respectively, and almost 87.1% of the carbon stocks were in the middle DBH-class, even though the number of trees only accounted for nearly 59.2%. The small class’s number of trees accounted for 39.1%, while the carbon stocks accounted for 8.3%. Our results also demonstrate that forests in Saihanba would continue to act as a carbon sink in the coming years. The variations among DBH groups highlights that the diameter class should be taken into consideration while assess the ecological efficiency and carbon sequestration capacity in a certain area.

    A comparison of spectral reflectance indices in response to water: A case study of Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata
    Chang LIU, Peng-Sen SUN, Shi-Rong LIU
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (8):  850-861.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0095
    Abstract ( 1179 )   Full Text ( 103 )   PDF (1534KB) ( 1481 )   Save
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    Aims Using leaf spectral reflectance to detect plant status in real time and non-destructively is a new method of forest drought assessment, but each spectral index possesses considerable moisture sensitivity. Therefore, determining moisture index applicable to tree leaf and its sensitive spectral index are both very important. Methods This study selected Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata leaves in different growth stages and canopy positions as the research object, and measured leaf moisture index and its synchronous reflectance spectral response curve during the dehydration process, explored the relationship between changes of leaf spectral reflectance and water status, compared and evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of correlation between the moisture indices of leaves in different growth stages and space positions and different spectral reflectance indices. Important findings Results indicated: (1) The variability of relative water content (RWC) and equivalent water thickness (EWT) in different growth stages and canopy positions was smaller than specific leaf water content (SWC) and leaf moisture percentage on fresh quality (LMP) as measured by the four different moisture indices. RWC and EWT could steadily characterize the holistic water status of trees, and they had greater spectral sensitivity. Therefore, they were suitable for application in remote sensing detection. (2) Spectral reflectance difference analysis and spectral reflectance sensitivity analysis showed that the leaf spectral sensitivity is strongly influenced by growth stage. In short wave infrared region, spectral reflectance of mature leaves changed slightly in the initial stage of dehydration stress, but new expended leaves showed obvious spectral differences during the dehydration process. (3) Through the correlation analysis between 15 different spectral indices and moisture indices, we found that water index (WI)-RWC and double difference index (DDn (1530,525))-EWT has higher correlation. The fitted relations of WI-RWC are greatly influenced by leaf growth stage and canopy position, while those of DDn(1530,525)- EWT are more stable.

    Effect of Dicranopteris dichotoma on spectroscopic characteristic of dissolved organic matter in red soil erosion area
    Hao ZHANG, Mao-Kui Lyu, Jin-Sheng XIE
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (8):  862-871.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0363
    Abstract ( 2599 )   Full Text ( 102 )   PDF (1313KB) ( 992 )   Save
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    Aims Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the most active component of organic matters in soils, and plays an important role in carbon cycles. It is a mixed organic compound with varying molecular sizes and weights. We aimed to explore the impacts of Dicranopteris dichotoma coverage on quantity and structure of DOM after vegetation restoration in severely eroded red soil region. Methods A typical sequence of vegetation restoration (Y0, without ecological restoration; Y13, ecological restoration for 13 years; Y31, ecological restoration for 31 years) was selected as the research object in Hetian Town, Changting County, Fujian Province, China. At each experimental site, soils were subject to three treatments—NRd, not removed D. dichotoma; Rd, removed D. dichotoma; and CK, control, and the effects of D. dichotoma on the spectral characteristics of DOM were evaluated.Important findings The results indicated that the quantity of soil DOC under NRd treatment of the Y0, Y13 and Y31 was 7.61, 4.83, and 5.47 times higher than their CK treatment, respectively. The Rd treatment had significantly lower DOC than that under NRd treatments, and it was 1.84, 4.12, and 4.73 times higher than their CK treatments, respectively. Thus the D. dichotoma had exerted significant effects on the quantity of soil DOM. The Aromaticity index (AI), emission fluorescence spectrum humification index (HIXem) and synchronous fluorescence spectrum humification index (HIXsyn) of DOM under the NRd treatment were significantly higher than those of the CK treatments in Y13 and Y31, respectively. However, the ratio of ultraviolet-visible light absorption photometric quantity at 250 nm wavelength to ultraviolet-visible light absorption photometric quantity at 365 nm wavelength (E2:E3) had an opposite trend. It showed that the DOM structure in soils covered by D. dichotoma contained more aromatic nucleus and had higher aromaticity and humification, and DOM molecular was larger. In addition, the AI and humification index (HIX) of DOM under the Rd treatment was significantly decreased compared with the NRd treatment. Similar results were observed by analysis of emission and synchronous fluorescence spectrum, and by the Fourier infrared transmission spectrum analysis. These results suggest that D. dichotoma had positive impacts on the complexity of DOM structure, but it was a long and slow process. The DOM spectral analysis showed that the soil DOM covered by D. dichotoma had a stable and complex structure and was easily adsorbed by soil colloid. As a result, Dicranopteris dichotoma had a positive effect on the accumulation of soil organic carbon.

    Trade-off relationship between vein density and vein diameter of Achnatherum splendens in response to habitat changes in Zhangye wetland
    Ling HAN, Cheng-Zhang ZHAO, Wei FENG, Ting XU, Hui-Ling ZHENG, Bei-Bei DUAN
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (8):  872-881.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0316
    Abstract ( 1040 )   Full Text ( 73 )   PDF (1019KB) ( 1226 )   Save
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    Aims The coevolution between vein traits has influences on water use strategies of plant and the formation of leaf economic spectrum, and therefore is important for understanding the trade-off between carbon input in leaf vein construction and the functional feedback from leaf veins. Our aim is to study the allometric relationship between vein density and vein diameter of Achnatherum splendens populations at three natural microhabitats (subcanopy, transitional and open areas) in Zhangye wetland. Methods According to the shade condition of the arbor canopy and the distance to arbor, the A. splendens community were divided into three microenvironments: subcanopy, transitional and open areas. We sampled 10 (4 m × 4 m) A. splendens plots from each microenvironment and investigate the biological characteristics of the plots and leaf traits of the plants within the plots. Then the soil physical and chemical properties, and community photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were investigated at three gradients. Six individual of A. splendens were selected in each plot and the leaf length, leaf width, vein density and vein diameter of two or three healthy and complete leaves from four directions of each individual were measured in laboratory. The SMA estimation method and correlation analysis were then used to examine the allometric relationship between vein density and vein diameter. Important findings Along the gradient from subcanopy, transitional zone to open areas, soil moisture displayed a pattern of initial decrease of plant community, and soil electric conductivity displayed increase changing trends. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), vein density (1.28-1.59 mm·mm-2), leaf width and water use efficiency (WUE) increase gradually, while the leaf length, vein diameter (0.21-0.16 mm) of A. splendens decrease. The average value of plasticity indexes of leaf characteristics was 0.19. Leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr) and bundle density increase first and them decrease. The vein density and vein diameter of A. splendens were negatively correlated with each other in subcanopy environment (p < 0.01), transitional and open areas (p < 0.05). The SMA (0.54-1.50) slope of regression equation in the scaling relationships between vein density and vein diameter decrease gradually from subcanopy to open areas.

    Effects of water condition on photochemical efficiency and physiological characteristics in artificially cultivated moss Syntrichia caninervis
    Hong-Mei XU, Jin LI, Yuan-Ming ZHANG
    Chin J Plant Ecol. 2017, 41 (8):  882-893.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2015.0403
    Abstract ( 810 )   Full Text ( 98 )   PDF (1270KB) ( 1612 )   Save
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    Aims The desert moss Syntrichia caninervis is a dominant species in the moss biocrust of the Gurbantünggüt Desert. It plays an important role in soil stability and artificial biocrust reconstruction in desert ecosystems. Previous studies have demonstrated that although artificial cultivation techniques can promote the micropropagation of S. caninervis, the resulting moss performs poorly in maintenance ability. Water availability has been considered as a critical factor to stimulate the physiological activities in moss species. Our objective in this study was to determine the optimum water condition for growth of sand-cultivated shoots of S. caninervis in the process of transplanting cultured materials from laboratory to the field. Methods We used sand-cultivated S. caninervis grown from fragmented gametophyte leaves and stems above ground. The experiment was run for 30 days under conditions of three water treatments, including intermittent water supply (watering every three days), fully watered (watering every day), and drought (watering every six days) . Fluorescence and physiological indices of shoots, such as photochemical efficiency, pigment content, soluble sugar, free proline, soluble protein, catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase activities and malondialdehyde were measured. Important findings The content of total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a and b in drought and fully watered treatments were significantly lower than in intermittent water supply treatment. Drought reduced the chlorophyll a/b ratio, and fully watered treatment deceased carotenoid content. Drought and fully watered treatments significantly reduced the maximal and actual photochemical efficiency and the soluble protein content, while increased most indices in osmotic adjustment substances and antioxidative enzyme activities, such as soluble sugar content, free proline content, catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and malonaldehyde content. Our results showed that the sand-cultivated S. caninervis accumulated osmotic adjustment substances and strengthened the antioxidative enzyme activities to survive under different water conditions, such as in the fully watered treatment. Compared with the intermittent water supply treatment, drought may lead to more damages in sand-cultivated shoots of S. caninervis, with the membrane lipid peroxidation being aggravated. Thus, intermittent water supply results in better development of artificial-cultivated S. caninervis than drought and fully watered treatments. This conclusion could provide theoretical basis for water saving management of artificially cultivated bryophyte in wild engraftment.

    Advances in the effect of nitrogen deposition on grassland litter decomposition
    Li-Li YANG, Ji-Rui GONG, Min LIU, Bo YANG, Zi-He ZHANG, Qin-Pu LUO, Zhan-Wei ZHAI, Yan PAN
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (8):  894-913.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2017.0023
    Abstract ( 2647 )   Full Text ( 160 )   PDF (1271KB) ( 3604 )   Save
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    Atmospheric nitrogen deposition has increased in the last several decades due to anthropogenic activities and global changes. Increasing nitrogen deposition has become an important factor regulating carbon cycle in grassland ecosystems. Litter decomposition, a key process of carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, is the main source of soil carbon pool and the basis of soil fertility maintenance. Elevated nitrogen deposition could affect litter decomposition by raising soil nitrogen availability, increasing the quantity and quality of litter inputs, and altering soil microorganism and soil conditions. Litter decomposition are complex biological, physical and chemical processes, which were affected by abiotic, biological factors and their interactions. The effects of nitrogen deposition on litter decomposition and the underlying mechanisms were discussed in this paper, including the aspactes of soil nitrogen availability, litter production, litter quality, microclimate, soil microorganism and enzyme activities. The main research contents, directions, methods and existing problems of litter decomposition in grasslands were discussed. We also discussed the prospect of future directions to study the interaction and feedback between nitrogen deposition and grassland ecosystem carbon cycling process.

    Mesophyll conductance and its limiting factors in plant leaves
    Ji-Mei HAN, Wang-Feng ZHANG, Dong-Liang XIONG, Jaume FLEXAS, Ya-Li ZHANG
    Chin J Plan Ecolo. 2017, 41 (8):  914-924.  doi:10.17521/cjpe.2016.0337
    Abstract ( 3809 )   Full Text ( 194 )   PDF (1598KB) ( 3305 )   Save
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    Mesophyll conductance (gm) represents the CO2 diffusion facility from sub-stomatal internal cavities to carboxylation sites in chloroplasts, and the variation of gm across genotypes as well as environmental conditions is expected to be related to the anatomical structures and biochemical properties of leaves. In recent years, the variation of gm has attracted wide attention. The limiting factors in photosynthetic rate are no longer divided simply into stomatal limitation and non-stomatal limitation, but splitted in stomatal limitation, mesophyll limitation and carboxylation limitation. In this review, we summarize the potential influences of cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, chloroplast envelope and stroma on gm, and indicate that cell wall thickness and the surface area of chloroplast exposed to intercellular air space (Sc) are the most important factors influencing the gm. We also analyze the probable effects of biochemical process related with aquaporins and carbonic anhydrase on gm. Meanwhile, the regulation mechanisms of long- and short-term environment changes (including temperature, light intensity, drought, and nutrients) on gm are also summarized. The relationship between gm and hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) is debated. Finally, we discuss the scientific problems related with gm.

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