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1. chinaXiv:202006.00224 [pdf]

Effects of rodent-induced disturbance on eco-physiological traits of Haloxylon ammodendron in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Xinjiang, China

XIANG Yanling; WANG Zhongke; LYU Xinhua; HE Yaling; LI Yuxia; ZHUANG Li; ZHAO Wenqin
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Disturbance by rodents alters the morphologies and nutrients of plants as well as the physical-chemical properties of the soils. Changes in plants are considered to be mechanisms of defense against the disturbance by rodents. Rodents gnaw on the assimilating branches of Haloxylon ammodendron (CA Mey.) Bunge and burrow under the bushes in the desert ecosystems of Xinjiang, China. However, eco-physiological responses of different age groups of H. ammodendron to the disturbance by rodents are not well understood. In this study, soil physical-chemical properties under the shrubs and the above-ground morphological, physiological and biochemical features of assimilating branches of H. ammodendron of different age groups (i.e., young, 30?100 cm; middle-aged, 100?200 cm; and mature, >200 cm) in burrowed and non-burrowed (control) areas were studied in 2018. We found that disturbance by rodents significantly increased the crown width and total branching rates of young and middle-aged H. ammodendron. Photosynthetic pigment contents of assimilating branches of H. ammodendron were significantly reduced under the disturbance by rodents. In term of plant nutrients, the main differences among different age groups of H. ammodendron under the disturbance by rodents occurred in the total soluble sugar and reducing sugar contents that decreased in young plants, increased in middle-aged plants, and did not affect in mature plants. Crude protein and phosphorus contents significantly increased, while crude fiber and calcium contents significantly decreased in young plants. Crude fat and calcium contents significantly decreased in middle-aged plants. Soil organic matter (SOM), total nitrogen (TN), available nitrogen (AN) and available potassium (AK) contents in the topsoil (0–20 cm), which are conducive to forming ''fertile islands'', also increased under the disturbance by rodents. In particular, soil AN and AK were the major factors affecting the above-ground morphological characteristics of H. ammodendron in burrowed areas. Overall, the response and defense strategies of H. ammodendron to the disturbance by rodents differed among different age groups, and the effect of the disturbance by rodents on H. ammodendron gradually weakened with the increasing plant age.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits5673Downloads315 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201906.00049 [pdf]

Morphological variation of star dune and implications for dune management: a case study at the Crescent Moon Spring scenic spot of Dunhuang, China

ZHANG Weimin; TAN Lihai
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Aerial photographs and 3-D laser scans of a 90-m high star dune at the Crescent Moon Spring scenic spot in Dunhuang, China, are used to investigate the changes in dune morphology on timescales from months to decades. The result revealed that relative-equilibrium airflow strength in three wind directions of northeast, west and south was an important condition for the stability of star dunes with limited migration. Transverse and longitudinal airflows exerted a crucial impact on variation processes of star dune morphology. Controlled by transverse airflows, the easterly winds, the east side was dominated by wind erosion; and strong deposition occurred on the south-south-east arm with a maximum deposition rate of 0.44 m/a in the 46-a monitoring period, causing the east side becoming steep and high. Controlled by longitudinal airflows, the westerly winds, the west-north-west side was mainly eroded and the north arm migrated from west to east with a rate of 0.30 m/a, causing the dune slope becoming gentle and elongate. The local air circulation (southerly winds) exerted a significant impact on the development process of the star dune. Due to the influence of human activities, the south side present surface processes from a concave profile to a convex profile in 46 a, which is a potential threat to the Crescent Moon Spring. The results indicate that rehabilitating the airflow field at most is a crucial strategy to the protection of Crescent Moon Spring from burial. Opening up the passage of easterly, westerly and southerly winds through intermediately cutting the protection forest, demolishing the enclosed wall and changing the pavilion into a porous pattern have been suggested to protect the Crescent Moon Spring from burial.

submitted time 2019-06-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits4392Downloads368 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201708.00331 [pdf]

Restudy of Regalerpeton weichangensis (Amphibia: Urodela) from the Lower Cretaceous of Hebei, China

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geology

Regalerpeton weichangensis was established in 2009 on an incomplete skeleton preserved mainly as an impression from the Lower Cretaceous of Hebei, China. However, several anatomical characters were misinterpreted due to distortion of the holotype, and its taxonomic position has been in debate. In this paper, R. weichangensis is redescribed based on eight new specimens and its diagnosis and phylogenetic position are re-examined. This work shows that R. weichangensis was a neotenic form with ossified carpals and tarsals. It has a series of unique combination of characteristics including the vomer with a transverse vomerine tooth row, anterior end of the cultriform process of the parasphenoid indented, basibranchial II triradiate and scapulocoracoid with a rectangular coracoid end. Phylogenetic analysis suggests Regalerpeton, Jeholotriton and Pangerpeton should be placed in the suborder Salamandroidea with three synapomorphies. Moreover, they also share unicapitate ribs with Cryptobranchoidea, which indicates that they represent an important stage of evolution in the Cryptobranchoidea-Salamandroidea split. 围场皇家螈(Regalerpeton weichangensis)于2009年基于一件产自河北围场下白垩统不完整的骨骼印痕标本命名。然而由于标本变形导致皇家螈的部分解剖学特征被曲解,系统发育位置也存在争论。本文基于八件新标本对该蝾螈的鉴定特征和系统发育位置进行了修订。研究显示,皇家螈是一种腕骨和跗骨骨化的幼态持续型蝾螈,具有独特的特征组合,包括犁骨齿列横向排列、副蝶骨前端呈齿状、基鳃骨II呈三射型以及肩胛乌喙骨的乌喙端呈矩形。新的系统发育分析根据三个近裔共性将围场皇家螈、热河螈和胖螈归入蝾螈亚目。此外,它们还与隐鳃鲵亚目共有“肋骨单关节头”这一特征,显示这三种蝾螈可能代表了隐鳃鲵亚目与蝾螈亚目分离时期这一重要演化阶段。

submitted time 2017-08-24 From cooperative journals:《古脊椎动物学报》 Hits1363Downloads608 Comment 0

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