•  
  •  
 
Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Desert vegetation distribution and species-environment relationships in an oasis-desert ecotone of northwestern China

Authors

Peng ZHAO, 1 Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; 2 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating, Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, Lanzhou 730070, China; 3 Gansu Minqin National Field Observation and Research Station on Ecosystem of Desertification Rangeland, Minqin 733000, China; 4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Jianjun QU, 1 Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, ChinaFollow
Xianying XU, 2 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating, Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, Lanzhou 730070, China; 3 Gansu Minqin National Field Observation and Research Station on Ecosystem of Desertification Rangeland, Minqin 733000, China;
Qiush YU, 2 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating, Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, Lanzhou 730070, China; 3 Gansu Minqin National Field Observation and Research Station on Ecosystem of Desertification Rangeland, Minqin 733000, China;
Shengxiu JIANG, 2 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating, Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, Lanzhou 730070, China; 3 Gansu Minqin National Field Observation and Research Station on Ecosystem of Desertification Rangeland, Minqin 733000, China;
Heran ZHAO, 2 State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating, Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, Lanzhou 730070, China; 3 Gansu Minqin National Field Observation and Research Station on Ecosystem of Desertification Rangeland, Minqin 733000, China;

Abstract

Environmental heterogeneity significantly affects the structure of ecological communities. Exploring vegetation distribution and its relationship with environmental factors is essential to understanding the abiotic mechanism(s) driving vegetation succession, especially in the ecologically fragile areas. In this study, based on the quantitative analysis of plant community and environmental factors in 68 plots at 10 different transects in the Minqin oasis-desert ecotone (ODE) of northwestern China, we investigated desert vegetation distribution and species-environment relationships using multivariate analysis. Two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN), detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) methods were used. A total of 28 species, belonging to 27 genera in 8 families, were identified. Chenopodiaceae, Zygophyllaceae, Gramineae, and Leguminosae were the largest families. Annual and perennial herbs accounted for 28.60% of the total number of plants, while shrubs (42.90%) were the most dominant. Nitraria tangutorum was the constructive species of the desert plant community. We divided the 68 plots surveyed in this study into 7 community types, according to the results of TWINSPAN. The distribution of these 7 communities in the DCA ordination graph showed that species with a similar ecotype were clustered together. Results of CCA indicated that groundwater was the dominant factor influencing vegetation distribution, while distance between plot and oasis (Dis) and soil electrical conductivity (EC) were the local second-order factors. Our study suggests that optimizing the utilization of groundwater in oases is key to controlling the degradation of desert vegetation. The favorable topographic conditions of sand dunes should be fully utilized for vegetal dune stabilization, and the influence of soil salinity on the selection of afforestation tree species should be considered.

First Page

461

Last Page

476

Share

COinS