Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2020, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (2): 119-124.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2020.00119.

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Distribution patterns of planted-shrubs of different restoration ages in artificial sand-fixing regions in the southeastern Tengger Desert

MeiLing Liu1,2,Ning Chen3,RuiQing Zhu4()   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    2.Shapotou Desert Research & Experiment Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    3.School of Life Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    4.Key Laboratory of Microbial Resources Exploitation and Application of Gansu Province, Institute of Biology, Gansu Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
  • Received:2019-08-28 Accepted:2020-01-13 Online:2020-04-30 Published:2020-04-27
  • Contact: RuiQing Zhu


Plant density and spatial distribution in artificial vegetation is obviously initialized at the planting stage. Plant dynamics and spatial pattern may change over time as the result of interactions between individual plants and habitats, but whether it's applied for desert shrubs in artificial sand-fixing regions remains unknown. Here we examined changes in plant density and distribution patterns of three shrubs (Artemisia ordosica Krasch, Caragana korshinskii Kom, and Hedysarum scoparium Fisch.) in different regions, which have been restored for 27, 32 and 50 years (R27, R32, R50), respectively. The vegetation analysis shows that A. ordosica was the dominated species across the 3 restoration regions. The density of A. ordosica and H. scoparium show a significant increase from R27 to R32, then decreased in R50. The density of C. korshinskii was low in R32 and R50, lower in R27. The variance-to-mean ratio (VMR) was used to characterize spatial distribution patterns to ?t the observed densities of the three shrubs by frequency. A. ordosica and C. korshinskii both show significantly clumped distributions in three restoration regions. H. scoparium show a uniform distribution in R27 and R50, but a clumped distribution in R32. These results show that A. ordosica seems to be more adaptable in revegetated desert areas compared to C. korshinskii and H. scoparium. Pattern analysis suggests a successive replacement of C. korshinskii, which had low proportions of survived shrubs, by the dominant A. ordosica. This study contributes to the understanding of the distribution patterns of shrubs plants in revegetation projects in arid desert areas.

Key words: restoration, shrubs, density, spatial pattern

Figure 1

Sketch of planting distribution in artificial sand-fixed regions"

Figure 2

The location of studied area, and three restoration sites (R50, R32 and R27 site) in Shapotou region. The red marked region denotes the location of sampling plots where the data are obtained"

Figure 3

1964-2014 mean precipitation"

Table 1

Vegetation properties of the study sites (mean±se) / denotes that no shrubs were found"

A. ordosicaDensity (100 m2)29.591.448.0
C. korshinskiiDensity (100 m2)/1.12.5
H. scopariumDensity (100 m2)
TotalDensity (100 m2)33.399.453.4

Figure 4

Spatial distributions of three shrub species (A. ordosica, C. korshinskiiin, H. scopariu) in the experimental region. The circles represent the cover of shrub crowns. Each shrub cover was calculated by assuming that crowns have an elliptical shape"

Table 2

Distribution patterns of three shrubs in different restoration regions"

VMRDistribution patternVMRDistribution patternVMRDistribution pattern
A. ordosica18.02Clumped57.67Clumped30.53Clumped
C. korshinskii//1.43Clumped1.39Clumped
H. scoparium0.25Uniform12.60Clumped0.32Clumped
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