Advertisement

Ecological Research

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 887–898 | Cite as

Plant responses to warming and increased precipitation in three categories of dune stabilization in northeastern China

  • Yongqing Luo
  • Xueyong Zhao
  • Xiaoan Zuo
  • Yuqiang Li
  • Tao Wang
Original Article

Abstract

Rising temperatures and precipitation are important climate change processes around the world. The responses of plants to these trends are still unclear in semi-arid regions, especially in areas with degraded sandy grassland. To provide insights into the response in these regions, we investigated responses of vascular plants to warming and increased precipitation in mobile dunes, fixed dunes and grassland, which represent the series of sand dune stabilization by plants in semi-arid northeastern China. Plant biomass, especially the aboveground biomass, varied significantly (P < 0.05) among dune categories. Total plant density in the fixed dunes and grassland was 1.9 and 1.7 times that in the mobile dunes. Species richness differed slightly but significantly (P < 0.05) among the habitats. Increasing precipitation in a drought year (65.5% of the long-term average annual precipitation) by 30% did not significantly affect any plant variable. By contrast, warming significantly decreased the belowground biomass, total biomass, species richness and plant total density. In summary, in semi-arid region with sandy soil, additional precipitation slightly improved plant performance, but increased temperature decreased plant performance. Soil texture, which determines the balance between moisture retention and evaporation, may be a key factor in determining these responses when precipitation is unusually low.

Keywords

Plant growth response Precipitation Sandy grassland Restoration Warming 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Drs. Yayong Luo, Peng Lv and Jing Zhang of our station for their field and laboratory help. We appreciate valuable comments and assistance from two anonymous reviewers, and Tonghui Zhang, Yulin Li, Xinping Liu, Shaokun Wang and Jie Lian of the station. This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31500369, 31640012), the “One Hundred Talent” Program (Y551821001) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of CAREERI, CAS (Y651K21001), the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2016YFC0500907), and the National Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (2017FY100200).

References

  1. Andresen LC, Michelsen A, Ambus P, Beier C (2010) Belowground heathland responses after 2 years of combined warming, elevated CO2 and summer drought. Biogeochemistry 101:27–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bai WM, Wan SQ, Niu SL, Liu WX, Chen QS, Wang QB, Zhang WH, Han XG, Li LH (2010) Increased temperature and precipitation interact to affect root production, mortality, and turnover in a temperate steppe: implications for ecosystem C cycling. Glob Change Biol 16:1306–1316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bronson D, Gower S, Tanner M, Linder S, van Herk I (2008) Response of soil surface CO2 flux in a boreal forest to ecosystem warming. Glob Change Biol 14:856–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Copeland SM, Bruna EM, Silva LVB, Mack MC, Vasconcelos HL (2012) Short-term effects of elevated precipitation and nitrogen on soil fertility and plant growth in a Neotropical savanna. Ecosphere 3(4):1. doi: 10.1890/ES11-00305.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cui D, Li YL, Wang XY, Zhao XY, Zhang TH (2011) Spatial distribution of aboveground biomass of grassland in desert and desertified regions in northern China. J Desert Res 31:868–872 (in Chinese with English summary) Google Scholar
  6. Danby RK, Hik DS (2007) Responses of white spruce (Picea glauca) to experimental warming at a subarctic alpine treeline. Glob Change Biol 13:437–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dawes MA, Philipson CD, Fonti P, Bebi P, Hättenschwiler S, Hagedorn F, Rixen C (2015) Soil warming and CO2 enrichment induce biomass shifts in alpine tree line vegetation. Glob Change Biol 21:2005–2021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Day TA, Ruhland CT, Xiong FS (2008) Warming increases aboveground plant biomass and C stocks in vascular-plant-dominated Antarctic tundra. Glob Change Biol 14:1827–1843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elmendorf SC (2012) Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time. Ecol Lett 15:164–175CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Engel EC, Weltzin JF, Norby RJ, Classen AT (2009) Responses of an old-field plant community to interacting factors of elevated CO2, warming, and soil moisture. J Plant Ecol UK 2:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fang S, Su H, Liu W, Tan K, Ren S (2013) Infrared warming reduced winter wheat yields and some physiological parameters, which were mitigated by irrigation and worsened by delayed sowing. PLoS One 8(7):e67518CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Gerten D, Schaphoff S, Haberlandt U, Lucht W, Sitch S (2004) Terrestrial vegetation and water balance-hydrological evaluation of a dynamic global vegetation model. J Hydrol 286:249–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Guo Q, Li SG, Hu ZM, Zhao W, Yu GR, Sun XM, Li LH, Liang NS, Bai WM (2016) Responses of gross primary productivity to different sizes of precipitation events in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China. J Arid Land 8:36–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hartley AE, Neill C, Melillo JM (1999) Plant performance and soil nitrogen mineralization in response to simulated climate change in subarctic dwarf shrub heath. Oikos 86:331–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hu ZM, Li SG, Dong JW, Fan JW (2012) Assessment of changes in the state of the rangelands of Inner Mongolia, China between 1998 and 2007 using remotely sensed data. Rangel J 34:103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. IPCC (2013) Climate Change 2013: The physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones SK, Collins SL, Blair JM, Smith MD, Knapp AK (2016) Altered rainfall patterns increase forb abundance and richness in native tallgrass prairie. Sci Rep UK 6:20120. doi: 10.1038/srep20120 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Klady RA, Henry GHR, Lemay V (2011) Changes in high arctic tundra plant reproduction in response to long-term experimental warming. Glob Change Biol 17:1611–1624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Knapp AK, Briggs JM, Koelliker JK (2001) Frequency and extent of water limitation to primary production in a mesic temperate grassland. Ecosystems 4:19–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li YQ, Zhao HL, Zhao XY, Zhang TH, Li YL, Cui JY (2010) Effects of grazing and livestock exclusion on soil physical and chemical properties in desertified sandy grassland, Inner Mongolia, northern China. Environ Earth Sci 63:771–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li JZ, Lin S, Taube F, Pan QM, Dittert K (2011) Above and belowground net primary productivity of grassland influenced by supplemental water and nitrogen in Inner Mongolia. Plant Soil 340:253–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li YQ, Zhao XY, Chen YP, Luo YQ, Wang SK (2012a) Effects of grazing exclusion on carbon sequestration and the associated vegetation and soil characteristics at a semi-arid desertified sandy site in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Can J Soil Sci 92:807–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li YQ, Zhou XH, Brandle JR, Zhang TH, Chen YP, Han JJ (2012b) Temporal progress in improving carbon and nitrogen storage by grazing exclosure practice in a degraded land area of China’s Horqin Sandy Grassland. Agric Ecosyst Environ 159:55–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lin DL, Xia JY, Wan SQ (2010) Climate warming and biomass accumulation of terrestrial plants: a meta-analysis. New Phytol 188:187–198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu YZ, Mu JP, Niklas KJ, Li GY, Sun SC (2012) Global warming reduces plant reproductive output for temperate multi-inflorescence species on the Tibetan Plateau. New Phytol 195:427–436CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu XP, He YH, Zhang TH, Zhao XY, Li YL, Zhang LM, Wei SL, Yun JY, Yue XF (2015) The response of infiltration depth, evaporation, and soil water replenishment to rainfall in mobile dunes in the Horqin Sandy Land, Northern China. Environ Earth Sci 73:8699–8708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lü XT, Dijkstra FA, Kong DL, Wang ZW, Han XG (2014) Plant nitrogen uptake drives responses of productivity to nitrogen and water addition in a grassland. Sci Rep UK. doi: 10.1038/srep04817 Google Scholar
  28. Luo YQ, Sherry R, Zhou XH, Wan SQ (2009) Terrestrial carbon-cycle feedback to climate warming: experimental evidence on plant regulation and impacts of biofuel feedstock harvest. Glob Change Biol Bioenergy 1:62–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Luo YQ, Zhao XY, Ding JP, Feng J, Su N, Zhou X, Yue XF (2016) Dynamics of aboveground biomass and litters in Horqin Sandy Land in different dunes among vegetation restoration processes. J Desert Res 36:78–84 (in Chinese with English summary) Google Scholar
  30. Meng FC, Zhang JH, Yao FM (2014) Interactive effects of elevated CO2 concentration and increasing precipitation on yield and growth development in maize. Chin J Plant Ecol 38:1064–1073 (in Chinese with English summary) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Miao RH, Jiang DM, Musa A, Zhou QL, Guo MX, Wang YC (2015) Effectiveness of shrub planting and grazing exclusion on degraded sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land in Inner Mongolia. Ecol Eng 74:164–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ni J (2004) Estimating net primary productivity of grasslands from field biomass measurements in temperate northern China. Plant Ecol 174:217–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Niu SL, Li ZX, Xia JY, Han Y, Wu MY, Wan SQ (2008) Climatic warming changes plant photosynthesis and its temperature dependence in a temperate steppe of northern China. Environ Exp Bot 63:91–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Peñuelas J, Gordon C, Llorens L, Nielsen T, Tietema A, Beier C, Bruna P, Emmett B, Estiarte M, Gorissen A (2004) Nonintrusive field experiments show different plant responses to warming and drought among sites, seasons, and species in a north–south European gradient. Ecosystems 7:598–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rinnan R, Stark S, Tolvanen A (2009) Responses of vegetation and soil microbial communities to warming and simulated herbivory in a subarctic heath. J Ecol 97:788–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ruiz-Vera UM, Siebers MH, Drag DW, Ort DR, Bernacchi CJ (2015) Canopy warming caused photosynthetic acclimation and reduced seed yield in maize grown at ambient and elevated CO2. Glob Change Biol 21:4237–4249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rustad LE, Campbell JL, Marion GM, Norby RJ, Mitchell MJ, Hartley AE, Cornelissen JHC, Gurevitch J (2001) A meta-analysis of the response of soil respiration, net nitrogen mineralization, and aboveground plant growth to experimental ecosystem warming. Oecologia 126:543–562CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Saxe H, Cannell MGR, Johnsen Ø, Ryan MG, Vourlitis G (2001) Tree and forest functioning in response to global warming. New Phytol 149:369–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shi Z, Xu X, Hararuk O, Jiang LF, Xia JY, Liang JY, Li DJ, Luo YQ (2015a) Experimental warming altered rates of carbon processes, allocation, and carbon storage in a tallgrass prairie. Ecosphere 6:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shi Z, Sherry R, Xu X, Hararuk O, Souza L, Jiang LF, Xia JY, Liang JY, Luo YQ (2015b) Evidence for long-term shift in plant community composition under decadal experimental warming. J Ecol 103:1131–1140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wan SQ, Norby RJ, Pregitzer KS, Ledford J, O’Neill EG (2004) CO2 enrichment and warming of the atmosphere enhance both productivity and mortality of maple tree fine roots. New Phytol 162:437–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang T, Wu W, Xue X, Han ZW, Zhang WM, Sun QW (2004) Spatial-temporal changes of sandy desertified land during last 5 decades in northern China. Acta Geogr Sin 59:203–212 (in Chinese with English summary) Google Scholar
  43. Wang HL, Zhang Q, Wang RY, Gan YT, Niu JY, Zhang K, Zhao FN, Zhao H (2015) Effects of air temperature increase and precipitation change on grain yield and quality of spring wheat in semiarid area of Northwest China. Chin J Appl Ecol 26:67–75 (in Chinese with English summary) Google Scholar
  44. Wu ZT, Dijkstra P, Koch GW, Peñuelas J, Hungate BA (2011) Responses of terrestrial ecosystems to temperature and precipitation change: a meta-analysis of experimental manipulation. Glob Change Biol 17:927–942CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Xiao CW, Zhou GS, Ceulemans R (2003) Effects of elevated temperature on growth and gas exchange in dominant plant species from Maowusu Sandland, China. Photosynthetica 41:565–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Xu X, Niu SL, Sherry RA, Zhou XH, Zhou JZ, Luo YQ (2012) Interannual variability in responses of belowground net primary productivity (NPP) and NPP partitioning to long-term warming and clipping in a tallgrass prairie. Glob Change Biol 18:1648–1656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Xu X, Shi Z, Li DJ, Zhou XH, Sherry RA, Luo YQ (2015) Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming. Glob Change Biol 21:3846–3853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yang HJ, Li Y, Wu MY, Zhang Z, Li LH, Wan SQ (2011) Plant community responses to nitrogen addition and increased precipitation: the importance of water availability and species traits. Glob Change Biol 17:2936–2944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yang XM, Liu SZ, Yang TB, Xu XY, Kang CZ, Tang JN, Wei HD, Mihretab GG, Li ZQ (2016) Spatial-temporal dynamics of desert vegetation and its responses to climatic variations over the last three decades: a case study of Hexi region in Northwest China. J Arid Land 8:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yao SX, Zhang TH, Zhao CC, Liu XP (2013a) Saturated hydraulic conductivity of soils in the Horqin Sand Land of Inner Mongolia, northern China. Environ Monit Assess 185:6013–6021CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Yao SX, Zhao CC, Zhang TH, Liu XP (2013b) Response of the soil water content of mobile dunes to precipitation patterns in Inner Mongolia, northern China. J Arid Environ 97:92–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yue XF, Zhang TH, Zhao XY, Liu XP, Ma YH (2016) Effects of rainfall patterns on annual plants in Horqin Sandy Land, Inner Mongolia of China. J Arid Land 8:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zavaleta ES, Shaw MR, Chiariello NR, Thomas BD, Cleland EE, Field CB, Mooney HA (2003a) Grassland responses to three years of elevated temperature, CO2, precipitation, and N deposition. Ecol Monog 73:585–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zavaleta ES, Thomas BD, Chiariello NR, Asner GP, Shaw MR, Field CB (2003b) Plants reverse warming effect on ecosystem water balance. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100(17):9892–9893CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. Zelikova TJ, Williams DG, Hoenigman R, Blumenthal DM, Morgan JA, Pendall E (2015) Seasonality of soil moisture mediates responses of ecosystem phenology to elevated CO2 and warming in a semi-arid grassland. J Ecol 103:1119–1130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zeppel MJB, Wilks JV, Lewis JD (2014) Impacts of extreme precipitation and seasonal changes in precipitation on plants. Biogeosciences 11:3083–3093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhang LM, Liu XP, Zhao XY, Zhang TH, Yue XF, Yun JY (2014) Response of sandy vegetation characteristics to precipitation change in Horqin Sandy Land. Acta Ecol Sin 34:2737–2745 (in Chinese with English summary) Google Scholar
  58. Zhao LY, Li FR, Wang XZ (2003) Characteristics of soil seed bank and standing vegetation change in sandy grassland along a desertification gradient. Acta Ecol Sin 23:1745–1756 (in Chinese with English summary) Google Scholar
  59. Zhao HL, Okuro T, Zhou RL, Li YL, Zuo XA (2011) Effects of grazing and climate change on sandy grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia. Sci Cold Arid Reg 3:223–232Google Scholar
  60. Zhou YM, Tang JW, Melillo JM, Butler S, Mohan JE (2011) Root standing crop and chemistry after six years of soil warming in a temperate forest. Tree Physiol 31:707–717CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Zuo XA, Zhang J, Zhou X, Zhao XY, Wang SK, Lian J, Lv P, Knops J (2015) Changes in carbon and nitrogen storage along a restoration gradient in a semiarid sandy grassland. Acta Oecol 69:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongqing Luo
    • 1
  • Xueyong Zhao
    • 1
  • Xiaoan Zuo
    • 1
  • Yuqiang Li
    • 1
  • Tao Wang
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Naiman Desertification Research StationNorthwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification of Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  4. 4.Lanzhou Branch of Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations