Ecological Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 79–86

Vegetation coverage, species richness, and dune stability in the southern part of Gurbantünggüt Desert

Original Article

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between vegetation coverage, species richness, and environmental factors, and also analyzed the relationship between vegetation coverage, species richness, and dune stability in different terrains, in the southern part of Gurbantünggüt Desert in China. The results showed that the order of vegetation coverage and species richness was greatest in middle areas, followed by the eastern areas, with the western areas being sparse. On a large scale, precipitation from April to June determined the amount of vegetation coverage. On a small scale, vegetation coverage was influenced by the type of terrain and the water and salt content in soils. Species richness of vegetation was determined by soil water and salt content on both the large and small scales. There were also remarkable differences in relative wind erosion among the different terrains and their order was: crest, slope, and inter-dune in descending order. The correlations between wind erosion and vegetation coverage and species richness were influenced by the type of terrain. Furthermore, there were significant correlations between wind erosion and vegetation coverage and species richness in dune slopes and crests. There was, however, no significant correlation between wind erosion and vegetation coverage and species richness in inter-dune sites. Vegetation coverage was the dominant factor influencing wind erosion in both slopes and crests. Species richness may have an impact on wind erosion through vegetation coverage in both slopes and crests. These results suggest that the effect of terrain type should be fully considered during the establishment of vegetation cover in the desert.

Keywords

Southern Gurbantünggüt Desert Coverage Species richness Dune stability 

Supplementary material

11284_2010_765_MOESM1_ESM.doc (135 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 135 kb)
11284_2010_765_MOESM2_ESM.doc (112 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 111 kb)

Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Education Ministry for Western Environment and EcologyNorthwest F&A UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Department of Forestry, Agricultural CollegeXinjiang Shihezi UniversityShiheziChina

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