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Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 130, Issue 2, pp 291–299 | Cite as

Remediation of blowouts by clonal plants in Maqu degraded alpine grasslands of northwest China

  • JianJun Kang
  • WenZhi Zhao
  • Ming Zhao
Current Topics in Plant Research

Abstract

The sand-fixation of plants is considered to be the most effective and fundamental measure in desertification control in many arid and semi-arid regions. Carex brunnescens (Carex spp) and Leymus secalinus (Leymus), two perennial clonal herbs native to the Maqu degraded alpine areas of northwest China, are dominant and constructive species in active sand dunes that have excellent adaptability to fix sand dunes found to date. In order to study the ability and mechanism of sandland blowout remediation by two clone plants C. brunnescens and L. secalinus, the artificially emulated blowouts were set up in the populations of two clonal plants in the field. The results showed that both C. brunnescens and L. secalinus produced more new ramets in the artificially emulated blowouts than in the natural conditions, suggesting that the two clonal plants had strong ability in blowouts remediation; while the biomass, number of leaves and height of new ramets in the artificially emulated blowouts were less than in the natural conditions due to the restriction of poor nutrients in the artificially emulated blowouts. The ability of blowouts remediation by C. brunnescens was stronger than L. secalinus, as it generated more new ramets than L. secalinus in the process of blowouts remediation. The new ramets of L. secalinus in the blowouts remediation were mainly generated by the buds in the rhizomes which spread from outside of the blowouts; while those of C. brunnescens were generated both by the buds in the rhizomes which spread from outside, and by the buds in the rhizomes inside which were freed from dormancy in the deeper soil under wind erosion conditions. These findings suggest that through rapid clonal expansion capability, C. brunnescens and L. secalinus exhibited strong ability in blowouts remediation which can be one of the most effective strategies to restore and reconstruct degraded vegetations in Maqu alpine areas of northwest China.

Keywords

C. brunnescens Clonal plants L. secalinus Maqu alpine regions Perennial herb Blowouts remediation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Key Project of Chinese National Programs (973 Program) for Fundamental Research and Development (Grant No. 2013CB429903) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31360087). The authors are very grateful to the anonymous reviewers and editors, as well as researcher Zihui Yang (Minqin National Studies Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem, Gansu Desert Control Research Institute, Wuwei 733000, Gansu, China) for their critical review and comments, which helped to improve and clarify the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linze Inland River Basin Research Station, Key Laboratory of Inland River Basin Ecohydrology, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and ResourcesChinese Academy of ScienceLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Gansu Research Academy of Forestry Science and TechnologyLanzhouChina

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