Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2015, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (3): 238-244.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00238

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Biomass and water partitioning in two age-related Caragana korshinskii plantations in desert steppe, northern China

RenTao Liu1,2, Fan Zhu1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory for Restoration and Reconstruction of Degraded Ecosystem in Northwestern China of Ministry of Education, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China;
    2. The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290000, Israel
  • Received:2014-06-22 Revised:2014-09-28 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: RenTao Liu,
  • Supported by:
    This research was in part financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41101050), the National Science and Technology Support Program (2010BAC07B03) of China and the Projects of the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2009CB421303).

Abstract: Understanding of biomass and water allocation in plant populations will provide useful information on their growth pattern and resource allocation dynamics. By direct measurement, the biomass and water content partitioning were compared at the aboveground, belowground and whole-plant levels for artificial Caragana korshinskii populations between 6- and 25-year-old sites in desert steppe, northern China. The biomass was mainly allocated to third-grade branches at the aboveground level, and to first- and second-grade roots at the belowground level, and to aboveground parts at the whole-plant vegetative level. Those plant parts mentioned above became the major component of biomass pool of these shrub populations. Biomass pattern changed significantly at aboveground and/or whole-plant levels (P <0.05), but not at belowground level (P >0.05) at 25-year-old site in comparison to 6-year-old site. Also, the water relations between different plant parts changed considerably at all three levels from 6- to 25-year-old sites. These results imply that biomass pattern and relative water content of plant parts are correlated with the process of plantation development. The ratio of belowground to aboveground, though below 1, increased from 6- to 25-year-old site. These results suggest that these shrub populations can adjust biomass partition and relative water content of different compartments to alter their ecological adaptive strategies during stand development in desertified regions.

Key words: shrub plantation, biomass allocation, relative water content, sandy grassland

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