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Journal of Arid Land  2013, Vol. 5 Issue (1): 80-88    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0144-4
Research Articles     
Spatial heterogeneity of plant species on the windward slope of active sand dunes in a semi-arid region of China
DeMing JIANG1, ChunPing MIAO1,2, XueHua LI1, XiaoLan LI3, ALAMUSA1, QuanLai ZHOU1
1 Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China;
2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
3 Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural and Reclamation Sciences, Shihezi 832000, China
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Abstract  Species richness and abundance are two important species diversity variables that have attracted par-ticular attention because of their significance in determining present and future species composition conditions. This paper aims to explain the qualitative and quantitative relationships between species diversity pattern and grain size (i.e. size of the sampling unit), and species diversity pattern and sampling area, and to analyze species diversity variability on active sand dunes in the Horqin Sandy Land, northeastern Inner Mongolia, China. A 50 m×50 m sampling plot was selected on the windward slope, where the dominant species was annual herb Agriophyllum squarrosum. Species composition and abundance at five grain sizes were recorded, and the species-area curves were produced for thirteen grain sizes. The range of values for species abundance tended to increase with in-creasing grain size in the study area, whereas, generally, species richness did not follow this rule because of poor species richness on the windward slope of active sand dunes. However, the homogeneity of species richness in-creased significantly. With the increase in sampling area, species abundance increased linearly, but richness in-creased logarithmically. Furthermore, variograms showed that species diversity on the windward slope of active sand dunes was weakly anisotropic and the distribution pattern was random, according to the Moran Coefficient. The results also showed that species richness was low, with a random distribution pattern. This conflicts with the results of previous studies that showed spatial aggregation in lower richness in a sampling area within a community and inferred that the physical processes play a more important role in species diversity than distribution pattern on active sand dunes. Further research into different diversity patterns and mechanisms between active sand dunes and interdune lowlands should be conducted to better understand biodiversity conservation in sand dune fields.

Key wordssurface vapor content      climate factors      periodic variation      abrupt change      Tarim Basin     
Received: 26 April 2012      Published: 06 March 2013

The National Natural Science Foun-dation of China (41071187) and the State Forestry Administra-tion Industry Special Project (201004023).

Corresponding Authors: DeMing JIANG      E-mail:
Cite this article:

DeMing JIANG, ChunPing MIAO, XueHua LI, XiaoLan LI, ALAMUSA, QuanLai ZHOU. Spatial heterogeneity of plant species on the windward slope of active sand dunes in a semi-arid region of China. Journal of Arid Land, 2013, 5(1): 80-88.

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