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Journal of Arid Land  2014, Vol. 6 Issue (6): 771-781    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0033-5
Research Articles     
Growth and physiological responses of Agriophyllum squarrosum to sand burial stress
Jin LI1*, Hao QU1, HaLin ZHAO1, RuiLian ZHOU2, JianYing YUN1, ChengChen PAN1
1 Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Institute, Chinese of Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Faculty of Life Sciences, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, China
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Abstract  Agriophyllum squarrosum is an annual desert plant widely distributed on mobile and semi-mobile dunes in all the sandy deserts of China. We studied the growth and physiological properties of A. squarrosum seedlings under different sand burial depths in 2010 and 2011 at Horqin Sandy Land, Inner Mongolia to understand the ability and mechanism that A. squarrosum withstands sand burial. The results showed that A. squarrosum had a strong ability to withstand sand burial. Its survival rate, plant height and biomass increased significantly at a burial depth 25% of seedling height and decreased significantly only when the burial depth exceeded the height of the seedlings; some plants still survived even if the burial depth reached 266% of a seedling height. The malondialdehyde (MDA) content and membrane permeability of the plant did not change significantly as long as the burial depth was not greater than the seedling height; lipid peroxidation increased and cell membranes were damaged if the burial depth was increased further. When subjected to sand burial stress, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) activities and free proline content increased in the seedlings, while the catalase (CAT) activity and soluble sugar content decreased. Sand burial did not lead to water stress. Reductions in photosynthetic area and cell membrane damage caused by sand burial may be the major mechanisms increasing mortality and inhibiting growth of the seedling. But the increases in SOD and POD activities and proline content must play a certain role in reducing sand burial damage.

Key wordsarid and semi-arid area      Artemisia capillaris patches      runoff and sediment      roots and shoots      vegetation parameters     
Received: 13 January 2014      Published: 10 December 2014

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31270752; 30972422), the National Key Technology R&D Program (2011BAC07B02-06), and the Foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of CAREERI, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y451081001; Y451111001).

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

Jin LI, Hao QU, HaLin ZHAO, RuiLian ZHOU, JianYing YUN, ChengChen PAN. Growth and physiological responses of Agriophyllum squarrosum to sand burial stress. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(6): 771-781.

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