Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2018, Vol. 10 Issue (4): 574-587    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0013-2
Orginal Article     
Precipitation amount and frequency affect seedling emergence and growth of Reaumuria soongarica in northwestern China
Lishan SHAN1,2,*(), Wenzhi ZHAO1, Yi LI2, Zhengzhong ZHANG2, Tingting XIE2
1 Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2 College of Forestry, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
Download: HTML     PDF(519KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      

Abstract  

Climate change is shifting the amount and frequency of precipitation in many regions, which is expected to affect seedling recruitment across ecosystems. However, the combined effects of precipitation amount and frequency on seedling recruitment remain largely unknown. An understanding of the effects of precipitation amount and frequency and their interaction on seedling emergence and growth of typical desert plants is vital for managing populations of desert plants. We conducted two experiments to study the effects of variation in precipitation on Reaumuria soongarica (Pall.) Maxim. First, greenhouse experiments were conducted to examine the effects of three precipitation amount treatments (ambient, +30%, and -30%) and two precipitation frequency treatments (ambient and -50%) on seedling emergence. Second, the morphological responses of R. soongarica to changes in precipitation amount and frequency were tested in a controlled field experiment. Stage-specific changes in growth were monitored by sampling in different growth seasons. Our results showed that precipitation amount significantly affected germination, seedling emergence, and growth of R. soongarica, and there was a larger effect with decreased precipitation frequency compared with ambient. Germination and seedling emergence increased as precipitation increased under the same frequency of precipitation. The highest emergence percentage was obtained with a 30% increase in precipitation amount and a 50% reduction in precipitation frequency. Compared with ambient precipitation, a 30% increase in precipitation amount increased above- and below-ground biomass accumulation of R. soongarica during the growth season. A decrease of 30% in precipitation amount also resulted in an increase in below-ground biomass and root/shoot ratio in the early stages of the growth season, however, above- and below-ground biomass showed the opposite results at the end of the growth season, with larger effects on above-ground than below-ground biomass under decreased precipitation frequency. When precipitation frequency decreased by 50%, values of all growth traits increased for a given amount of precipitation. We concluded that precipitation frequency may be as important as precipitation amount to seedling emergence and growth of R. soongarica, and that understanding the effects of precipitation variability on seedling recruitment requires the integration of both precipitation amount and frequency. In particular, the combination of a 30% increase in precipitation amount and 50% reduction in precipitation frequency increased the emergence and growth of seedlings, suggesting that alteration of amount and frequency of precipitation caused by climate change may have significant effects on seedling recruitment of R. soongarica.



Key wordsprecipitation patterns      seedling emergence      biomass      root/shoot ratio      seedling recruitment     
Received: 26 May 2017      Published: 10 August 2018
Corresponding Authors: Lishan SHAN     E-mail: shanls@gsau.edu.cn
Cite this article:

Lishan SHAN, Wenzhi ZHAO, Yi LI, Zhengzhong ZHANG, Tingting XIE. Precipitation amount and frequency affect seedling emergence and growth of Reaumuria soongarica in northwestern China. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(4): 574-587.

URL:

http://jal.xjegi.com/10.1007/s40333-018-0013-2     OR     http://jal.xjegi.com/Y2018/V10/I4/574

[1] Ambrose L G, Wilson S D.2003. Emergence of the introduced grass Agropyron cristatum and the native grass Bouteloua gracilis in a mixed-grass prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology, 11(1): 110-115.
[2] Barchuk A H, Valiente-Banuet A, Díaz M P.2005. Effect of shrubs and seasonal variability of rainfall on the establishment of Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco in two edaphically contrasting environments. Austral Ecology, 30(6): 695-705.
[3] Böhm W.1979. Methods of Studying Root Systems. New York: Springer-Verlag, 6-8.
[4] Boscagli A, Sette B.2001. Seed germination enhancement in Satureja montana L. ssp. Montana. Seed Science and Technology, 29(2): 347-355.
[5] Core Writing Team, Pachauri R K, Meyer L A.2014. Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Geneva, Switzerland: IPCC, 408.
[6] Craine J M, Nippert J B, Elmore A J, et al.2012. Timing of climate variability and grassland productivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(9): 3401-3405.
[7] Dalgleish H J, Koons D N, Adler P B.2010. Can life-history traits predict the response of forb populations to changes in climate variability? Journal of Ecology, 98(1): 209-217.
[8] Didiano T J, Johnson M T J, Duval T P.2016. Disentangling the effects of precipitation amount and frequency on the performance of 14 grassland species. PLoS ONE, 11(9): e0162310.
[9] Diffenbaugh N S, Giorgi F.2012. Climate change hotspots in the CMIP5 global climate model ensemble. Climatic Change, 114(3-4): 813-822.
[10] Diffenbaugh N S, Field C B.2013. Changes in ecologically critical terrestrial climate conditions. Science, 341(6145): 486-492.
[11] Fay P A, Schultz M J.2009. Germination, survival, and growth of grass and forb seedlings: effects of soil moisture variability. Acta Oecologica, 35(5): 679-684.
[12] Funk F A, Loydi A, Peter G.2014. Effects of biological soil crusts and drought on emergence and survival of a Patagonian perennial grass in the Monte of Argentina. Journal of Arid Land, 6(6): 735-741.
[13] Gao R R, Yang X J, Liu G F, et al.2015. Effects of rainfall pattern on the growth and fecundity of a dominant dune annual in a semi-arid ecosystem. Plant and Soil, 389(1-2): 335-347.
[14] Geange S R, Briceño V F, Aitken N C, et al.2017. Phenotypic plasticity and water availability: responses of alpine herb species along an elevation gradient. Climate Change Responses, 4: 5.
[15] Gherardi L A, Sala O E.2015. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(41): 12735-12740.
[16] Gibson-Forty E V J, Barnett K L, Tissue D T, et al.2016. Reducing rainfall amount has a greater negative effect on the productivity of grassland plant species than reducing rainfall frequency. Functional Plant Biology, 43(4): 380-391.
[17] Gómez-Aparicio L, Pérez-Ramos I M, Mendoza I, et al.2008. Oak seedling survival and growth along resource gradients in Mediterranean forests: implications for regeneration in current and future environmental scenarios. Oikos, 117(11): 1683-1699.
[18] Heisler-White J L, Blair J M, Kelly E F, et al.2009. Contingent productivity responses to more extreme rainfall regimes across a grassland biome. Global Change Biology, 15(12): 2894-2904.
[19] Hoover D L, Knapp A K, Smith M D.2014. Resistance and resilience of a grassland ecosystem to climate extremes. Ecology, 95(9): 2646-2656.
[20] Hovenden M J, Newton P C D, Wills K E, et al.2008. Influence of warming on soil water potential controls seedling mortality in perennial but not annual species in a temperate grassland. New Phytologist, 180(1): 143-152.
[21] Kang M Y, Dai C, Ji W Y, et al.2013. Biomass and its allocation in relation to temperature, precipitation, and soil nutrients in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China. PLoS ONE, 8(7): e69561.
[22] Knapp A K, Carroll C J W, Denton E M, et al.2015. Differential sensitivity to regional-scale drought in six central US grasslands. Oecologia, 177(4): 949-957.
[23] Li X H, Jiang D M, Alamusa, et al.2012. Comparison of seed germination of four Artemisia Species (Asteraceae) in northeastern Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of Arid Land, 4(1): 36-42.
[24] Li Z L, Zhang Y T, Yu D F.2014. The influence of precipitation regimes and elevated CO2 on photosynthesis and biomass accumulation and partitioning in seedlings of the rhizomatous perennial grass Leymus chinensis. PLoS ONE, 9(8): e103633.
[25] Liu Y B, Wang G, Liu J, et al.2007. Anatomical, morphological and metabolic acclimation in the resurrection plant Reaumuria soongorica during dehydration and rehydration. Journal of Arid Environments, 70(2): 183-194.
[26] Ma J Y, Chen K, Xia D S, et al.2007. Variation in foliar stable carbon isotope among populations of a desert plant, Reaumuria soongorica (pall.) maxim. in different environments. Journal of Arid Environments, 69(3): 365-374.
[27] Ma N, Wang N A, Zhu J F, et al.2011. Climate change around the badain jaran desert in recent 50 years. Journal of Desert Research, 31(6): 1541-1547. (in Chinese)
[28] Matesanz S, Gianoli E, Valladares F.2010. Global change and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1206: 35-55.
[29] Miranda J D, Armas C, Padilla F M, et al.2011. Climatic change and rainfall patterns: Effects on semi-arid plant communities of the Iberian Southeast. Journal of Arid Environments, 75(12): 1302-1309.
[30] Nicotra A B, Atkin O K, Bonser S P, et al.2010. Plant phenotypic plasticity in a changing climate. Trends in Plant Science, 15(12): 684-692.
[31] Ponce-Campos G E, Moran M S, Huete A, et al.2013. Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions. Nature, 494(7437): 349-352.
[32] Poorter L.1999. Growth responses of 15 rain-forest tree species to a light gradient: the relative importance of morphological and physiological traits. Functional Ecology, 13(3): 396-410.
[33] Reyer C P O, Leuzinger S, Rammig A, et al.2013. A plant's perspective of extremes: terrestrial plant responses to changing climatic variability. Global Change Biology, 19(1): 75-89.
[34] Robinson T M P, Gross K L.2010. The impact of altered precipitation variability on annual weed species. American Journal of Botany, 97(10): 1625-1629.
[35] Robinson T M P, La Pierre K J, Vadeboncoeur M A, et al.2013. Seasonal, not annual precipitation drives community productivity across ecosystems. Oikos, 122(5): 727-738.
[36] Schneider A C, Lee T D, Kreiser M A, et al.2014. Comparative and interactive effects of reduced precipitation frequency and volume on the growth and function of two perennial grassland species. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 175(6): 702-712.
[37] Schwinning S, Sala O E.2004. Hierarchy of responses to resource pulses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Oecologia, 141(2): 211-220.
[38] Shi Y, Yan X, Zhao P S, et al.2013. Transcriptomic analysis of a tertiary relict plant, extreme xerophyte Reaumuria soongorica to identify genes related to drought adaptation. PLoS ONE, 8(5): e63993.
[39] Shi Z, Thomey M L, Mowll W, et al.2014. Differential effects of extreme drought on production and respiration: synthesis and modeling analysis. Biogeosciences, 11(3): 621-633.
[40] Thomey M L, Collins S L, Vargas R, et al.2011. Effect of precipitation variability on net primary production and soil respiration in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. Global Change Biology, 17(4): 1505-1515.
[41] 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.
[42] Torres-Martínez L, Weldy P, Levy M, et al.2017. Spatiotemporal heterogeneity in precipitation patterns explain population-level germination strategies in an edaphic specialist. Annals of Botany, 119(2): 253-265.
[43] Wang K B, Li J P, Shangguan Z P, 2012. Biomass components and environmental controls in Ningxia grasslands. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 11(12): 2079-2087.
[44] Wang X H, Xiao H L, Chen G X, et al.2011a. Isolation of high-quality RNA from Reaumuria soongorica, a desert plant rich in secondary metabolites. Molecular Biotechnology, 48(2): 165-172.
[45] Wang X H, Zhang T, Wen Z N, et al.2011b. The chromosome number, karyotype and genome size of the desert plant diploid Reaumuria soongorica (Pall.) Maxim. Plant Cell Reports, 30(6): 955-964.
[46] Westra S, Fowler H J, Evans J P, et al.2014. Future changes to the intensity and frequency of short-duration extreme rainfall. Reviews of Geophysics, 52(3): 522-555.
[47] White T A, Campbell B D, Kemp P D, et al.2000. Sensitivity of three grassland communities to simulated extreme temperature and rainfall events. Global Change Biology, 6(6): 671-684.
[48] Wilcox K R, Von Fischer J C, Muscha J M, et al.2015. Contrasting above-and belowground sensitivity of three Great Plains grasslands to altered rainfall regimes. Global Change Biology, 21(1): 335-344.
[49] Xu D H, Su P X, Zhang R Y, et al.2010. Photosynthetic parameters and carbon reserves of a resurrection plant Reaumuria soongorica during dehydration and rehydration. Plant Growth Regulation, 60(3): 183-190.
[50] Yang J Y, Cushman S A, Song X M, et al.2015. Genetic diversity and drivers of genetic differentiation of Reaumuria soongorica of the Inner Mongolia plateau in China. Plant Ecology, 216(7): 925-937.
[51] Yang X J, Baskin C C, Baskin J M, et al.2012. Seed mucilage improves seedling emergence of a sand desert shrub. PLoS ONE, 7(4): e34597.
[52] Yue T X, Zhao N, Ramsey R D, et al.2013. Climate change trend in china, with improved accuracy. Climatic Change, 120(1-2): 137-151.
[53] Yue X F, Zhang T H, Zhao X Y, et al.2016. Effects of rainfall patterns on annual plants in Horqin Sandy Land, Inner Mongolia of China. Journal of Arid Land, 8(3): 389-398.
[54] Zeng Y J, Wang Y R, Zhuang G H, et al.2004. Seed germination responses of Reaumuria soongorica and Zygophyllum xanthoxylum to drought stress and sowing depth. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 24(8): 1629-1634. (in Chinese)
[55] Zeppel M J B, Wilks J V, Lewis J D.2014. Impacts of extreme precipitation and seasonal changes in precipitation on plants. Biogeosciences, 11(11): 3083-3093.
[56] Zhang Y G, Moran M S, Nearing M A, et al.2013. Extreme precipitation patterns and reductions of terrestrial ecosystem production across biomes. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 118(1): 148-157.
[57] Zhu Y J, Yang X J, Baskin C C, et al.2014. Effects of amount and frequency of precipitation and sand burial on seed germination, seedling emergence and survival of the dune grass Leymus secalinus in semiarid China. Plant and Soil, 374(1-2): 399-409.
[1] HUANG Xiaotao, LUO Geping, CHEN Chunbo, PENG Jian, ZHANG Chujie, ZHOU Huakun, YAO Buqing, MA Zhen, XI Xiaoyan. How precipitation and grazing influence the ecological functions of drought-prone grasslands on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains, China?[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(1): 88-97.
[2] JIN Xiaoming, YANG Xiaogang, ZHOU Zhen, ZHANG Yingqi, YU Liangbin, ZHANG Jinghua, LIANG Runfang. Ecological stoichiometry and biomass response of Agropyron michnoi Roshev. under simulated N deposition in a sandy grassland, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 741-751.
[3] Ali MAHDAVI, Soghra SAIDI, Yaghob IRANMANESH, Mostafa NADERI. Biomass and carbon stocks in three types of Persian oak (Quercus brantii var. persica) of Zagros forests in a semi-arid area, Iran[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 766-774.
[4] PEI Yanwu, HUANG Laiming, SHAO Ming'an, ZHANG Yinglong. Responses of Amygdalus pedunculata Pall. in the sandy and loamy soils to water stress[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 791-805.
[5] ZHANG Zhenchao, LIU Miao, SUN Jian, WEI Tianxing. Degradation leads to dramatic decrease in topsoil but not subsoil root biomass in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 806-818.
[6] DONG Yiqiang, SUN Zongjiu, AN Shazhou, JIANG Shasha, WEI Peng. Community structure and carbon and nitrogen storage of sagebrush desert under grazing exclusion in Northwest China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(2): 239-251.
[7] WEN Jing, QIN Ruimin, ZHANG Shixiong, YANG Xiaoyan, XU Manhou. Effects of long-term warming on the aboveground biomass and species diversity in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(2): 252-266.
[8] YANG Yuling, LI Minfei, MA Jingjing, CHENG Junhui, LIU Yunhua, JIA Hongtao, LI Ning, WU Hongqi, SUN Zongjiu, FAN Yanmin, SHENG Jiandong, JIANG Ping'an. Changes in the relationship between species richness and belowground biomass among grassland types and along environmental gradients in Xinjiang, Northwest China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(6): 855-865.
[9] Lianlian FAN, Junxiang DING, Xuexi MA, Yaoming LI. Ecological biomass allocation strategies in plant species with different life forms in a cold desert, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(5): 729-739.
[10] Xiang ZHAO, Shuya HU, Jie DONG, Min REN, Xiaolin ZHANG, Kuanhu DONG, Changhui WANG. Effects of spring fire and slope on the aboveground biomass, and organic C and N dynamics in a semi-arid grassland of northern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(2): 267-279.
[11] PORDEL Fatemeh, EBRAHIMI Ataollah, AZIZI Zahra. Canopy cover or remotely sensed vegetation index, explanatory variables of above-ground biomass in an arid rangeland, Iran[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(5): 767-780.
[12] Quanlin MA, Yaolin WANG, Yinke LI, Tao SUN, MILNE Eleanor. Carbon storage in a wolfberry plantation chronosequence established on a secondary saline land in an arid irrigated area of Gansu Province, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(2): 202-216.
[13] Xuelian JIANG, Ling TONG, Shaozhong KANG, Fusheng LI, Donghao LI, Yonghui QIN, Rongchao SHI, Jianbing LI. Planting density affected biomass and grain yield of maize for seed production in an arid region of Northwest China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(2): 292-303.
[14] Wen SHANG, Yuqiang LI, Xueyong ZHAO, Tonghui ZHANG, Quanlin MA, Jinnian TANG, Jing FENG, Na SU. Effects of Caragana microphylla plantations on organic carbon sequestration in total and labile soil organic carbon fractions in the Horqin Sandy Land, northern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(5): 688-700.
[15] Hui RAN, Shaozhong KANG, Fusheng LI, Taisheng DU, Risheng DING, Sien LI, Ling TONG. Responses of water productivity to irrigation and N supply for hybrid maize seed production in an arid region of Northwest China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(4): 504-514.