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Journal of Arid Land  2012, Vol. 4 Issue (3): 330-341    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00330
Research Articles     
Root growth and spatio-temporal distribution of three common annual halophytes in a saline desert, northern Xinjiang
Ke ZHANG1,2, ChangYan TIAN2, ChunJian LI1
1 College of Resources and Environment, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology and Desert Environment, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
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Abstract  Root growth and spatial and temporal distribution in the 0–100 cm soil profiles of three common annual halophytes Salsola subcrassa, Suaeda acuminate and Petrosimonia sibirica distributed in a saline desert in northern Xinjiang, China were studied in 2009 and 2010. The results showed that the root systems of the three halophytes were of the taproot type, vertically distributed in the 90-cm soil profile, and were deepest in late July. Their taproots reached maximum depth rapidly, early in the growth period, but with rare lateral roots. They were then dug out in an orderly way, from bottom to top, exhibiting vertical development first and then horizontal devel-opment. The distribution of specific root length, which reflects the characteristics of the feeder root, was gradually increased from top to bottom, whereas root weight displayed an opposite distribution pattern. The root length dis-tribution of the three halophytes was concentrated (62% to 76%) in the middle soil profile (20–60 cm), with less distribution in the surface (0–20 cm) and bottom (60–90 cm) soil profiles. The results indicated that the roots of the three annual halophytes grew rapidly into the deeper soil layer after germination, which ensured the plant survival and uptake of water and nutrition, and thus built up a strong tolerance to an arid, high-salt environment.

Key wordsPopulus euphratica      inversed model      hyperspectral index      vertical profile      polymorphic leaf     
Received: 17 January 2012      Published: 03 September 2012

Chinese Academy of Sciences Action-plan for West Development (KZCX2-XB3-07) for financial support, and “Western Light” Talents Training Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XBBS200811).

Corresponding Authors: ChunJian LI     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Ke ZHANG, ChangYan TIAN, ChunJian LI. Root growth and spatio-temporal distribution of three common annual halophytes in a saline desert, northern Xinjiang. Journal of Arid Land, 2012, 4(3): 330-341.

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