Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2019, Vol. 11 Issue (1): 58-65    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0072-4
Orginal Article     
Phenotypic plasticity of Artemisia ordosica seedlings in response to different levels of calcium carbonate in soil
Pingping XUE, Xuelai ZHAO, Yubao GAO*(), Xingdong HE
College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
Download: HTML     PDF(253KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      


Plant phenotypic plasticity is a common feature that is crucial for explaining interspecific competition, dynamics and biological evolution of plant communities. In this study, we tested the effects of soil CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) on the phenotypic plasticity of a psammophyte, Artemisia ordosica, an important plant species on sandy lands in arid and semi-arid areas of China, by performing pot experiments under different CaCO3 contents with a two-factor randomized block design and two orthogonal designs. We analyzed the growth responses (including plant height, root length, shoot-leaf biomass and root biomass) of A. ordosica seedlings to different soil CaCO3 contents. The results revealed that, with a greater soil CaCO3 content, A. ordosica seedlings gradually grew more slowly, with their relative growth rates of plant height, root length, shoot-leaf biomass and root biomass all decreasing significantly. Root N/P ratios showed significant negative correlations with the relative growth rates of plant height, shoot-leaf biomass and root length of A. ordosica seedlings; however, the relative growth rate of root length increased significantly with the root P concentration increased, showing a positive correlation. These results demonstrate that soil CaCO3 reduces the local P availability in soil, which produces a non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity to A. ordosica seedlings. This study should prove useful for planning and promoting the restoration of damaged/degraded vegetation in arid and semi-arid areas of China.

Key wordsArtemisia ordosica      N/P ratio      phenotypic plasticity      relative growth rate      soil CaCO3      soil P availability      arid and semi-arid areas     
Received: 23 April 2018      Published: 10 February 2019
Corresponding Authors:
Cite this article:

Pingping XUE, Xuelai ZHAO, Yubao GAO, Xingdong HE. Phenotypic plasticity of Artemisia ordosica seedlings in response to different levels of calcium carbonate in soil. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(1): 58-65.

URL:     OR

[1] Abbas J A, Mohammed S A, Saleh M A.1991. Edaphic factors and plant species distribution in a protected area in the desert of Bahrain Island. Vegetation, 95(1): 87-93.
[2] Bao S D.2007. Analytical Methods for Soil and Agro-Chemistry (3rd ed.). Beijing: Chinese Agriculture Science and Technology Press, 268-270, 389-391. (in Chinese)
[3] Bossdorf O, Pigliucci M.2009. Plasticity to wind is modular and genetically variable in Arabidopsis thaliana. Evolutionary Ecology, 23(5): 669-685.
[4] Bradshaw A D.1965. Evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Advances in Genetics, 13: 115-155.
[5] Bradshaw A D, Hardwick K.1989. Evolution and stress-genotypic and phenotypic components. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 37(1-2): 137-155.
[6] Cai H M, Xie W B, Zhu T, et al.2012. Transcriptome response to phosphorus starvation in rice. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 34(1): 327-341.
[7] Chen M M, Yin H B, O'Connor P, et al.2010. C: N: P stoichiometry and specific growth rate of clover colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Plant and Soil, 326(1-2): 21-29.
[8] D'Ambrosio P, Colagè I.2017. Extending epigenesis: from phenotypic plasticity to the bio-cultural feedback. Biology & Philosophy, 32(5): 705-728.
[9] Ehlers K, Bakken L R, Frostegård Å, et al.2010. Phosphorus limitation in a Ferralsol: impact on microbial activity and cell internal P pools. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 42(4): 558-566.
[10] Elser J J, Fagan W F, Kerkhoff A J, et al.2010. Biological stoichiometry of plant production: metabolism, scaling and ecological response to global change. New Phytologist, 186(3): 593-608.
[11] Fan Y, Li P F, Hou Z A, et al.2012. Water adaptive traits of deep-rooted C3 halophyte (Karelinia caspica (Pall.) Less.) and shallow-rooted C4 halophyte (Atriplex tatarica L.) in an arid region, Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 4(4): 469-478.
[12] Fusco G, Minelli A.2010. Phenotypic plasticity in development and evolution: facts and concepts. Philosophical Transactions Biological Sciences, 365: 547-556.
[13] Geng Y P, Zhang W J, Li B, et al.2004. Phenotypic plasticity and invasiveness of alien plants. Biodiversity Science, 12(4): 447-455. (in Chinese)
[14] Ghalambor C K, McKay J K, Carroll S P, et al.2007. Adaptive versus non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity and the potential for contemporary adaptation in new environments. Functional Ecology, 21(3): 394-407.
[15] He X D, You W X, Yu D.2016. Ecological Restoration Theory and Vegetation Reconstruction Technique in Yanchi County of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Tianjin: Nankai University Press, 32-58. (in Chinese)
[16] Jain S K, Bradshaw A D.1966. Evolutionary divergence among adjacent plant populations. Heredity, 21(3): 407-441.
[17] Kerley S J.2000. Changes in root morphology of white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) and its adaptation to soils with heterogeneous alkaline/acid profiles. Plant and Soil, 218(1-2): 197-205.
[18] Lauri P é, Barigah T S, Lopez G, et al.2016. Erratum to: Genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity of apple morphological responses to soil water restriction in relation with leaf functions and stem xylem conductivity. Trees, 30(5): 1909-1910.
[19] Lee J A, Woolhouse H W.1971. The relationship of compartmentation of organic acid metabolism to bicarbonateion sensitivity of root growth in calcicoles and calcifuges. New Phytologist, 70: 103-111.
[20] Li J M, Du L S, Guan W B, et al.2016. Latitudinal and longitudinal clines of phenotypic plasticity in the invasive herb Solidago canadensis in China. Oecologia, 182(3): 755-764.
[21] Li L, Tang C, Renge Z, et al.2004. Calcium, magnesium and microelement uptake as affected by phosphorus sources and interspecific root interactions between wheat and chickpea. Plant and Soil, 261(1-2): 29-37.
[22] Ma B, Zhou Z Y, Zhang C P, et al.2009. Inorganic phosphorus fractions in the rhizosphere of xerophytic shrubs in the Alxa Desert. Journal of Arid Environments, 73(1): 55-61.
[23] Martinez-Oro D, Parraga-Aguado I, Querejeta J I, et al.2017. Importance of intra- and interspecific plant interactions for the phytomanagement of semiarid mine tailings using the tree species Pinus halepensis. Chemosphere, 186: 405-413.
[24] Matzek V, Vitousek P M.2009. N: P stoichiometry and protein: RNA ratios in vascular plants: an evaluation of the growth-rate hypothesis. Ecology Letters, 12(8): 765-771.
[25] Pedersen J, Fransson A M, Olsson P A.2011. Performance of Anisantha (Bromus) tectorum and Rumex acetosella in sandy calcareous soil. Flora, 206(3): 276-281.
[26] Persson J, Wojewodzic M W, Hessen D O, et al.2011. Increased risk of phosphorus limitation at higher temperatures for Daphnia magna. Oecologia, 165: 123-129.
[27] Pigliucci M, Diiorio P, Schlichting C.1997. Phenotypic plasticity of growth trajectories in two species of Lobelia in response to nutrient availability. Journal of Ecology, 85(3): 265-276.
[28] Pigliucci M.2002. Touchy and bushy: phenotypic plasticity and integration in response to wind stimulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 163(3): 399-408.
[29] Pigliucci M, Kolodynska A.2002. Phenotypic plasticity to light intensity in Arabidopsis thaliana: invariance of reaction norms and phenotypic integration. Evolutionary Ecology, 16(1): 27-47.
[30] Pigliucci M.2005. Evolution of phenotypic plasticity: where are we going now? Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 20(9): 481-486.
[31] Qiu R J, Du T S, Kang S Z.2017. Root length density distribution and associated soil water dynamics for tomato plants under furrow irrigation in a solar greenhouse. Journal of Arid Land, 9(5): 637-650.
[32] Reinbott T M, Blevins D G.1999. Phosphorus nutritional effects on root hydraulic conductance, xylem water flow and flux of magnesium and calcium in squash plants. Plant and Soil, 209(2): 263-273.
[33] Rivas-Ubacha A, Sardansa J, Pérez-Trujillob M, et al.2012. Strong relationship between elemental stoichiometry and metabolome in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of American, 109(11): 4181-4186.
[34] Schinas S, Rowell D L.1977. Lime-induced chlorosis. European Journal of Soil Science, 28(2): 351-368.
[35] Schlichting C D.1986. The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 17: 667-693.
[36] Stearns S C.1989. The evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity. Bioscience, 39(7): 436-445.
[37] Storz J F, Scott G R, Cheviron1 Z A.2010. Phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia in vertebrates. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 213: 4125-4136.
[38] Sultan S E.2001a. Phenotypic plasticity for fitness components in Polygonum species of contrasting ecological breadth. Ecology, 82(2): 328-343.
[39] Sultan S E.2001b. Phenotypic plasticity for plant development, function and life history. Trends in Plant Science, 5(12): 537-542.
[40] Via S, Gomulkiewicz R, De Jong G, et al.1995. Adaptive phenotypic plasticity: consensus and controversy. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 10(5): 212-217.
[41] Wang X, Song N P, Yang X G, et al.2018. Grazing exclusion-induced shifts, the relative importance of environmental filtering, biotic interactions and dispersal limitation in shaping desert steppe communities, northern China. Journal of Arid Land, 10(3): 402-415.
[42] Wojewodzic M W, Kyle M, Elser J J, et al.2011. Joint effect of phosphorus limitation and temperature on alkaline phosphatase activity and somatic growth in Daphnia magna. Oecologia, 165(4): 837-846.
[43] Zhao X L, He X D, Xue P P, et al.2012. Effects of soil stoichiometry of the CaCO3/available phosphorus ratio on plant density in Artemisia ordosica communities. Chinese Science Bulletin, 57(5): 492-499.
[44] Zheng M, Lai L, Jiang L, et al.2012. Moderate water supply and partial sand burial increase relative growth rate of two Artemisia species in an inland sandy land. Journal of Arid Environments. 85: 105-113.
[1] Ummar IQBAL, Mansoor HAMEED, Farooq AHMAD, Muhammad S AAHMAD, Muhammad ASHRAF. Fate of rubber bush (Calotropis procera (Aiton) W. T. Aiton) in adversary environment modulated by microstructural and functional attributes[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2023, 15(5): 578-601.
[2] PANG Yingjun, WU Bo, JIA Xiaohong, XIE Shengbo. Wind-proof and sand-fixing effects of Artemisia ordosica with different coverages in the Mu Us Sandy Land, northern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2022, 14(8): 877-893.
[3] LI Feng, LI Yaoming, ZHOU Xuewen, YIN Zun, LIU Tie, XIN Qinchuan. Modeling and analyzing supply-demand relationships of water resources in Xinjiang from a perspective of ecosystem services[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2022, 14(2): 115-138.
[4] Xiaona Yu, Yongmei Huang, Engui Li, Xiaoyan Li, Weihua Guo. Effects of vegetation types on soil water dynamics during vegetation restoration in the Mu Us Sandy Land, northwestern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(2): 188-199.
[5] Lora B PERKINS, Robert S NOWAK. Invasion syndromes: hypotheses on relationships among invasive species attributes and characteristics of invaded sites[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2013, 5(3): 275-283.
[6] Erin K ESPELAND. Predicting the dynamics of local adaptation in invasive species[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2013, 5(3): 268-274.
[7] JianCheng WANG, Xiang SHI, DaoYuan ZHANG, LinKe YIN. Phenotypic plasticity in response to soil moisture availability in the clonal plant Eremosparton songoricum (Litv.) Vass.[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2011, 3(1): 34-39.