Skip to main content

Spatial distribution of Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq. (Chenopodiaceae) in the straw checkerboards at a revegetated land of the Tengger Desert, northern China

Abstract

The present study focuses on straw checkerboards established in the Shapotou Desert Research and Experimental Station at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert and their effects on the species richness and the abundance of Agriophyllum squarrosu Moq. Specifically, detailed analyses on the spatial distribution of A. squarrosum and the related soil properties were carried out at a small scale in the straw checkerboards. A. squarrosum is an excellent pioneer plant for revegetation in desert areas. However, the distribution pattern of A. squarrosum and the influencing factors have not been sufficiently delineated. The results showed that the species richness and the abundance of A. squarrosum were decreased exponentially from the border to the center of the straw checkerboards. At the micro-geomorphological scale, the soil texture, soil organic matter (SOM), soil nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), and soil infiltration rate in the topsoil tended to increase from the center to the border within a straw checkerboard, while soil moisture presented an opposite tendency. The soil seed bank of A. squarrosum, soil bulk density, electrical conductivity, sand content, CaCO3 accumulation, and pH showed no significant difference (P>0.05) between the border and the center of the straw checkerboards. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the abundance of A. squarrosum was mainly determined by the concentrations of SOM, nitrogen, and the infiltration rate, implying that nutrient acclimation was the optimal competitive strategy of A. squarrosum for surviving in a barren natural environment of an arid desert region.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bai W M, Bao X M, Li L H. 2004. Effects of Agriophyllum squarrosum seed banks on its colonization in a moving sand dune in Hunshandake Sand Land of China. Journal of Arid Environments, 59(1): 151–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boeken B, Lipchin C, Gutterman Y, et al. 1998. Annual plant community responses to density of small-scale soil disturbances in the Negev Desert of Israel. Oecologia, 114(1): 106–117.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bolker B M, Pacala S W, Neuhauser C. 2003. Spatial dynamics in model plant communities: what do we really know?. The American Naturalist, 162(2): 135–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Borgogno F, D’Odorico P, Laio F, et al. 2009. Mathematical models of vegetation pattern formation in ecohydrology. Reviews of Geophysics, 47(1): RG1005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burke A. 2001. Classification and ordination of plant communities of the Naukluft Mountains, Namibia. Journal of Vegetation Science, 12(1): 53–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen G X, Zhao J C, Zhao X, et al. 2014. A psammophyte Agriophyllum squarrosum (L.) Moq.: a potential food crop. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 61(3): 669–676.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cross A F, Schlesinger W H. 1999. Plant regulation of soil nutrient distribution in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Plant Ecology, 145(1): 11–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davidson D W, Bowker M, George D, et al. 2002. Treatment effects on performance of N-fixing lichens in disturbed soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau. Ecological Applications, 12(5): 1391–1045.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eccles N S, Esler K J, Cowling R M. 1999. Spatial pattern analysis in Namaqualand desert plant communities: evidence for general positive interactions. Plant Ecology, 142(1–2): 71–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Foti R, Ramírez J A. 2013. A mechanistic description of the formation and evolution of vegetation patterns. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17(1): 63–84.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gordillo-Rivero A J, García-Moreno J, Jordán A, et al. 2014. Fire severity and surface rock fragments cause patchy distribution of soil water repellency and infiltration rates after burning. Hydrological Processes, 28(24): 5832–5843.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • HilleRis Lambers R, Rietkerk M, van den Bosch F, et al. 2001. Vegetation pattern formation in semi-arid grazing systems. Ecology, 82(1): 50–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huang L, Zhang Z S, Li X R. 2014. Carbon fixation and its influence factors of biological soil crusts in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert, northern China. Journal of Arid Land, 6(6): 725–734.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kéfi S, Rietkerk M, Alados C L, et al. 2007. Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems. Nature, 449(7159): 213–217.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Klausmeier C A. 1999. Regular and irregular patterns in semiarid vegetation. Science, 284(5421): 1826–1828.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li X R, Xiao H L, Zhang J G, et al. 2004. Long-term ecosystem effects of sand-binding vegetation in the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Restoration Ecology, 12(3): 376–390.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li X R, Xiao H L, He M Z, et al. 2006. Sand barriers of straw checkerboards for habitat restoration in extremely arid desert regions. Ecological Engineering, 28(2): 149–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li X R, Kong D S, Tan H J, et al. 2007. Changes in soil and in vegetation following stabilisation of dune in southeastern fringe of the Tengger Desert, China. Plant and Soil, 300: 221–231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li X R, He M Z, Zerbe S, et al. 2010. Micro-geomorphology determines community structure of biological soil crusts at small scales. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 35(8): 932–940.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li X R. 2012. Eco-hydrology of Biological Soil Crusts in Desert Regions of China. Beijing: Higher Education Press, 155–170. (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Li X R, Zhang Z S, Huang L, et al. 2013. Review of the ecohydrological processes and feedback mechanisms controlling sand-binding vegetation systems in sandy desert regions of China. Chinese Science Bulletin, 58(13): 1483–1496.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Liu G S. 1996. Soil Physical and Chemical Analysis and Description of Soil Profiles. Beijing: Standard Press, 121–265. (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Loveland P J, Whalley W R. 2000. Particle size analysis. In: Smith K A, Mullins C. Soil and Environmental Analysis: Physical Methods (2nd ed.). New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ma J L, Liu Z M. 2008. Spatiotemporal pattern of seed bank in the annual psammophyte Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq.(Chenopodiaceae) on the active sand dunes of northeastern Inner Mongolia, China. Plant and Soil, 311(1): 97–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miao C P, Li X H, Jiang D M. 2013. Spatial variability of Agriophyllum squarrosum across scales and along the slope on an active sand dune in semi-arid China. Arid Land Research and Management, 27(3): 231–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Monzeglio U, Stoll P. 2005. Spatial patterns and species performances in experimental plant communities. Oecologia, 145(4): 619–628.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nanjing Institute of Soil Research. 1978. Analysis of Soil Physicochemical Features. Shanghai: Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 66–208. (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  • Nelson D W, Sommers L E. 1982. Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter. In: Page A L, Miller R H, Keeney D R. Methods of Soil Analysis Part 2: Chemical and Microbiological Properties. Madison, Wisconsin: American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, 539–579.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nemoto M, Lu X Y. 1992. Ecological characteristics of Agriophyllum squarrosum, a pioneer annual on sand dunes in eastern Inner Mongolia, China. Ecological Research, 7(2): 183–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Noy-Meir I. 1973. Desert ecosystems: environment and producers. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 4: 25–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rietkerk M, Dekker S C, de Ruiter P C, et al. 2004. Self-organized patchiness and catastrophic shifts in ecosystems. Science, 305(5692): 1926–1929.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rietkerk M, van de Koppel J. 2008. Regular pattern formation in real ecosystems. Trends in Ecology Evolution, 23(3): 169–175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rodriguez-Iturbe I, Porporato A, Laio F, et al. 2001. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress: I. Scope and general outline. Advances in Water Resources, 24(7): 695–705.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rowe J S, Sheard J W. 1981. Ecological land classification: a survey approach. Environmental Management, 5(5): 451–464.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schlesinger W H, Raikes J A, Hartley A E, et al. 1996. On the spatial pattern of soil nutrients in desert ecosystems. Ecology, 77(2): 364–374.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schurr F M, Bossdorf O, Milton S J, et al. 2004. Spatial pattern formation in semi-arid shrubland: a priori predicted versus observed pattern characteristics. Plant Ecology, 173(2): 271–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schwinning S, Ehleringer J R. 2001. Water use trade-offs and optimal adaptations to pulse-driven arid ecosystems. Journal of Ecology, 89(3): 464–480.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sherratt J A. 2013. History-dependent patterns of whole ecosystems. Ecological Complexity, 14: 8–20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tobe K, Zhang L P, Omasa K. 2005. Seed germination and seedling emergence of three annuals growing on desert sand dunes in China. Annals of Botany, 95(4): 649–659.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang X P, Wang Z N, Cui Y, et al. 2010. Variation in soil seed banks composition at the desert microhabitats of Caragana korshinskii shrubs. Arid Land Research and Management, 24(3): 238–252.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang Z L, Wang G, Liu X M. 1998. Germination strategy of the temperate sandy desert annual chenopod Agriophyllum squarrosum. Journal of Arid Environments, 40(1): 69–76.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Woodward F I, McKee I F. 1991. Vegetation and climate. Environment International, 17(6): 535–546.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang Z S, Chen Y L, Xu B X, et al. 2015. Topographic differentiations of biological soil crusts and hydraulic properties in fixed sand dunes, Tengger Desert. Journal of Arid Land, 7(2): 205–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou X B, Zhang Y M, Niklas K J. 2013. Sensitivity of growth and biomass allocation patterns to increasing nitrogen: a comparison between ephemerals and annuals in the Gurbantunggut Desert, north-western China. Annals of Botany, 113(3): 501–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41671076, 41530746), the National Basic Research Program of China (2013CB429905) and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017463). We are grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their advices on the paper. We would also like to thank Professor XUE Xian for language improvement.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lei Huang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Huang, L. Spatial distribution of Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq. (Chenopodiaceae) in the straw checkerboards at a revegetated land of the Tengger Desert, northern China. J. Arid Land 9, 176–187 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-017-0010-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-017-0010-x

Keywords

  • Agriophyllum squarrosum
  • seed banks
  • soil moisture
  • soil infiltration rate
  • nutrient acclimation