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1. chinaXiv:202011.00133 [pdf]

Impacts of snow on seed germination are independent of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics in a temperate desert of Central Asia

ANNIWAER,Anlifeire ANNIWAER; SU,Yangui; ZHOU,Xiaobing; ZHANG,Yuanming
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Seed germination profoundly impacts plant community composition within the plant life cycle. Snow is an important source of water for seed germination in the temperate deserts of Central Asia. Understanding how seed germination responds to variations in snow cover in relation to seed traits and plant ecological characteristics can help predict plant community sustainability and stability in Central Asia under a scenario climate change. This study investigated the seed germination of 35 plant species common to the Gurbantunggut Desert in Central Asia under the three snow treatments: (1) snow addition; (2) ambient snow; and (3) snow removal. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were performed to assess interactions among the impacts of snow treatments, seed traits and plant ecological characteristics on seed germination. Phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS) model was used to test the relationships between seed traits and seed germination. The results demonstrated that snow variations had no significant impacts on seed germination overall. Seed germination under the snow addition treatment was similar with that under the ambient snow treatment, irrespective of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics. Snow removal only had negative impacts on seed germination for certain groups of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics. Seed mass positively affected seed germination, showing a linear increase of arcsin square root-transformed seed germination with log-transformed seed mass. Seed shape also profoundly impacted seed germination, with a higher germination percentage for elongated and flat seeds. Seed germination differed under different plant life forms, with semi-shrub species showing a significantly higher germination percentage. Most importantly, although snow treatments, seed traits and plant ecological characteristics had no interactive effects on seed germination overall, some negative impacts from the snow removal treatment were detected when seeds were categorized on the basis of seed mass and shape. This result suggests that variations of snow cover may change plant community composition in this temperate desert due to their impacts on seed germination.

submitted time 2020-11-25 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits200Downloads105 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202010.00024 [pdf]

Relationship of species diversity between overstory trees and understory herbs along the environmental gradients in the Tianshan Wild Fruit Forests, Northwest China

CHENG,Junhui; SHI,Xiaojun; FAN,Pengrui; ZHOU,Xiaobing; SHENG,Jiandong; ZHANG,Yuanming
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

In forest ecosystems, interactions between overstory trees and understory herbs play an important role in driving plant species diversity. However, reported links between overstory tree and understory herb species diversity have been inconsistent, due to variations in forest types and environmental conditions. Here, we measured species richness (SR) and diversity (Shannon-Wiener (H') and Simpson's (D) indices) of overstory trees and understory herbs in the protected Tianshan Wild Fruit Forest (TWFF), Northwest China, to explore their relationships along the latitudinal, longitudinal, elevational, and climatic (current climate and paleoclimate) gradients in 2018. We found that SR, and H' and D diversity indices of overstory trees and understory herbs exhibited a unimodal pattern with increasing latitude and elevation (P<0.05) and negative associations with longitude (P<0.01). Along the climatic gradients, there were U-shaped patterns in SR, and H' and D diversity indices between trees and herbs (P<0.05). SR, and H' and D diversity indices for overstory tree species were positively associated with those for understory herbs (P<0.01). These findings indicate that overstory trees and understory herbs should be protected concurrently in the TWFF to increase effectiveness of species diversity conservation programs.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1054Downloads129 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201809.00172 [pdf]

Precipitation and soil particle size co-determine spatial distribution of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, China

WU, Lin; ZHANG, Yuanming
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are bio-sedimentary associations that play crucial ecological roles in arid and semi-arid regions. In the Gurbantunggut Desert of China, more than 27% of the land surface is characterized by a predominant cover of lichen-dominated BSCs that contribute to the stability of the desert. However, little is known about the major factors that limit the spatial distribution of BSCs at a macro scale. In this study, the cover of BSCs was investigated along a precipitation gradient from the margins to the center of the Gurbantunggut Desert. Environmental variables including precipitation, soil particle size, soil pH, electrical conductivity, soil organic carbon, total salt, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total potassium were analyzed at a macro scale to determine their association with differing assemblages of BSCs (cyanobacteria crusts, lichen crusts and moss crusts) using constrained linear ordination redundancy analysis (RDA). A model of BSCs distribution correlated with environmental variables that dominated the first two axes of the RDA was constructed to clearly demonstrate the succession stages of BSCs. The study determined that soil particle size (represented by coarse sand content) and precipitation are the most significant drivers influencing the spatial distribution of BSCs at a macro scale in the Gurbantunggut Desert. The cover of lichen and moss crusts increased with increasing precipitation, while the cover of cyanobacteria crusts decreased with increasing precipitation. The cover of lichen and moss crusts was negatively associated with coarse sand content, whereas the cover of cyanobacteria crusts was positively correlated with coarse sand content. These findings highlight the need for both the availability of soil moisture and a relatively stable of soil matrix, not only for the growth of BSCs but more importantly, for the regeneration and rehabilitation of disturbed BSC communities in arid and semi-arid lands. Thereby, this study will provide a theory basis to effectively increase soil stability in desert regions.

submitted time 2018-09-17 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1754Downloads539 Comment 0

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