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Journal of Arid Land
Research Articles     
Limitations on the recruitment of the rare sand shrubby legume Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae) in Gurbantunggut Desert, China
DaoYuan ZHANG, HuiLiang LIU, Xiang SHI, JianCheng WANG, YongKuan ZHANG
1 Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresource in Arid Land, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 Turpan Eremophytes Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Turpan 838008, China; 3 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 4 College of Agriculture, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China
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Abstract  Eremosparton songoricum, a rare and endemic sand dune plant, appears to be experiencing recruitment failure. The structure of five populations from the Gurbantunggut Desert, China, was investigated for recruitment patterns, and two of them were examined for flowering, pollination and seed germination limits on regeneration. The results showed that total 150 seedlings only occurred on line transects in riverside Dure population, but they all died half a month later; no seedlings occurred in other four hinterland desert populations indicating recruitment was a failure at all populations although flowers were plentiful. Reproductive success depends on pollinators. Nectar is ‘reward’ for pollinators, with 0.06 μL–0.12 μL and 0.15 μL–0.35 μL per flower in Dure and Kabu populations, respectively, in continuously two secreting days. Spontaneous self pollination is rare with nearly zero fruit production. Geitonogamous self pollination is predominant with 14.47% fruit set. Seed mass in the riverside Dure population was significantly greater than that in other hinterland desert populations. Consequently, the Dure population exhibited a significantly higher germination rate (about 90%) than those in other populations (about 30%). Results suggested that recruitment failure of E. songoricum is not due to flower shortage, pollination limitation, or poor seed germination but environmental pressure and/or human disturbance.

Key wordsCalligonum pumilum      Calligonum ruoqiangense      classification      desert      Xinjiang     
Received: 21 December 2010      Published: 07 June 2011
Corresponding Authors: DaoYuan ZHANG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

DaoYuan ZHANG, HuiLiang LIU, Xiang SHI, JianCheng WANG, YongKuan ZHANG. Limitations on the recruitment of the rare sand shrubby legume Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae) in Gurbantunggut Desert, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2011, 3(2): 75-84.

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