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Plant adaptability in karst regions

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Karst ecosystems are formed by dissolution of soluble rocks, usually with conspicuous landscape features, such as sharp peaks, steep slopes and deep valleys. The plants in karst regions develop special adaptability. Here, we reviewed the research progresses on plant adaptability in karst regions, including drought, high temperature and light, high-calcium stresses responses and the strategies of water utilization for plants, soil nutrients impact, human interference and geographical traits on karst plants. Drought, high temperature and light change their physiological and morphological structures to adapt to karst environments. High-calcium and soil nutrients can transfer surplus nutrients to special parts of plants to avoid damage of high nutrient concentration. Therefore, karst plants can make better use of limited water. Human interference also affects geographical distribution of karst plants and their growing environment. All of these aspects may be analyzed to provide guidance and suggestions for related research on plant adaptability mechanisms.

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This work was supported by the Guangxi science and technology base and talent project (Guike AD19245098); Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (2020GXNSFBA297045; 2020GXNSFBA297157); Research Project of Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection (ERESEP2020Z09); Sustainable development innovation project of Guangxi Normal University (2020CX003); Guangxi graduate education innovation program (YCSW2020104); Innovation training program for university students(202010602251).

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Correspondence to Yu Liang.

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Liu, C., Huang, Y., Wu, F. et al. Plant adaptability in karst regions. J Plant Res 134, 889–906 (2021).

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