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Journal of Arid Land  2022, Vol. 14 Issue (10): 1138-1158    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0105-x
Research article     
Competition, spatial pattern, and regeneration of Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum communities in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwest China
LIU Yaxuan1,2, ZENG Yong1,2,*(), YANG Yuhui1,2, WANG Ning3, LIANG Yuejia1,2
1Xinjiang Laboratory of Lake Environment and Resources in Arid Zone, Urumqi 830054, China
2College of Geographic Science and Tourism, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi 830054, China
3School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
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Abstract  

Competition, spatial pattern, and regeneration are important factors affecting community composition, structure, and dynamics. In this study, we surveyed 300 quadrats from three dunes (i.e., fixed dunes, semifixed dunes, and mobile dunes) in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwest China, from late May to early June in 2021. The intraspecific and interspecific competition, spatial pattern, and regeneration of Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum were studied using the Hegyi competition index and point pattern analysis methods. The results showed that the optimal competition distance of the objective tree in the H. ammodendron and H. persicum communities was 6 m. The intraspecific and interspecific competition of H. ammodendron was the greatest in fixed dunes, while the competition intensity of H. persicum in semifixed dunes and mobile dunes was greater than that in fixed dunes. The order of competition intensity of the two populations was seedlings>saplings>adults, and the competition intensity gradually decreased with the increase in plant diameter. The spatial distribution pattern of the three life stages of H. ammodendron and H. persicum was random, and there were no correlations between seedlings and saplings, adults and saplings, and seedlings and adults. The density of regenerated seedlings and saplings of H. ammodendron in the three dunes followed the order of fixed dunes>semifixed dunes>mobile dunes, and that of H. persicum in the three dunes followed the order of mobile dunes>semifixed dunes>fixed dunes. Therefore, when artificially planting H. ammodendron and H. persicum for sand control, the planting interval should be 6 m, and seedlings should be planted next to adults to minimize the competition between plants, which can promote the renewal of H. ammodendron and H. persicum and the stabilization of the ecosystem.



Key wordscompetition      spatial pattern      regeneration      Haloxylon ammodendron      Haloxylon persicum      Gurbantunggut Desert     
Received: 21 May 2022      Published: 31 October 2022
Corresponding Authors: *ZENG Yong (E-mail: zengyong107@sina.cn)
Cite this article:

LIU Yaxuan, ZENG Yong, YANG Yuhui, WANG Ning, LIANG Yuejia. Competition, spatial pattern, and regeneration of Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum communities in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 2022, 14(10): 1138-1158.

URL:

http://jal.xjegi.com/10.1007/s40333-022-0105-x     OR     http://jal.xjegi.com/Y2022/V14/I10/1138

Fig. 1 Spatial distribution maps of Haloxylon ammodendron (a-c) and Haloxylon persicum (d-f) in fixed dunes, semifixed dunes, and mobile dunes
Population Life stage Target tree Competitive tree
Number Proportion (%) Average basal diameter (cm) Number Proportion (%) Basal diameter range (cm)
H. ammodendron Seedlings 20 18.87 0.70 303 49.03 0.26-22.20
Saplings 56 52.83 3.76
Adults 30 28.30 9.78
H. persicum Seedlings 16 15.84 0.75 315 50.97 0.35-19.51
Saplings 62 61.39 3.88
Adults 23 22.77 9.18
Table 1 Overview of target trees and competitive trees of Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum
Fig. 2 Relationship of the radius of the round quadrats with the average competition intensity for H. ammodendron and H. persicum
Population Dune type Life stage Number Proportion (%) Intensity competition Average competition intensity
Intra Inter Intra Inter
H. ammodendron Fixed dunes Seedlings 14 17.72 205.42 78.22 14.67 5.59
Saplings 41 51.90 160.66 60.28 3.92 1.47
Adults 24 30.38 32.43 27.14 1.35 1.13
Total 79 100.00 398.51 165.64 - -
Semifixed dunes Seedlings 3 23.08 22.15 11.08 7.38 3.69
Saplings 7 53.85 12.00 8.86 1.72 1.27
Adults 3 23.08 1.93 2.84 0.64 0.95
Total 13 100.00 36.08 22.78 - -
Mobile dunes Seedlings 3 21.43 15.83 9.37 5.28 3.12
Saplings 8 57.14 7.74 8.76 0.97 1.10
Adults 3 21.43 1.36 2.17 0.45 0.72
Total 14 100.00 24.93 20.29 - -
H. persicum Fixed dunes Seedlings 4 16.67 28.73 13.04 7.18 3.26
Saplings 14 58.33 21.00 12.63 1.50 0.90
Adults 6 25.00 2.43 4.19 0.41 0.69
Total 24 100.00 52.17 29.86 - -
Semifixed dunes Seedlings 6 13.33 65.11 31.40 10.85 5.23
Saplings 28 62.22 106.39 30.25 3.80 1.08
Adults 11 24.44 15.83 10.07 1.44 0.92
Total 45 100.00 187.32 71.72 - -
Mobile dunes Seedlings 6 18.75 72.31 33.53 12.05 5.59
Saplings 20 62.50 40.70 30.94 2.04 1.55
Adults 6 18.75 8.56 7.80 1.43 1.30
Total 32 100.00 121.57 72.27
Table 2 Intraspecific and interspecific competition intensity between H. ammodendron and H. persicum
Fig. 3 Relationships of the basal diameter with competition index of target trees of H. ammodendron (a-c) and H. persicum (d-f) in fixed dunes, semifixed dunes, and mobile dunes, as well as the relationships of the basal diameter with competition index of all H. ammodendron individuals (g), all H. persicum individuals (h), and the sum of all H. ammodendron and H. persicum individuals (i).
Fig. 4 Spatial distribution pattern of H. ammodendron in different life stages in fixed dunes (a-c), semifixed dunes (d-f), and mobile dunes (g-i). The g11(r) represents the spatial distribution of a population.
Fig. 5 Spatial distribution pattern of H. persicum in different life stages in fixed dunes (a-c), semifixed dunes (d-f), and mobile dunes (g-i)
Fig. 6 Spatial association of H. ammodendron in different life stages in fixed dunes (a-c), semifixed dunes (d-f), and mobile dunes (g-i). The g12(r) represents the spatial association of the three life stages of a population.
Fig. 7 Spatial association of H. persicum in different life stages in fixed dunes (a-c), semifixed dunes (d-f), and mobile dunes (g-i)
Fig. 8 Density of surviving regenerated seedlings and saplings in the different radius of target trees for H. persicum (a) and H. persicum (b) in fixed dunes, semifixed dunes, and mobile dunes. Different lowercase letters indicate significant differences in the density of surviving regenerated seedlings and saplings of the same population in fixed dunes at different circle radii (P<0.05). Different capital letters indicate significant differences in the density of surviving regenerated seedlings and saplings of the same population in semifixed dunes at different circle radii (P<0.05). Different apostrophe lowercase letters indicate significant differences in the density of surviving regenerated seedlings and saplings of the same population in mobile dunes at different circle radii (P<0.05). Error bars indicate the standard deviation.
H. ammodendron H. persicum
Sample circle radius range 0‒2 m 2‒4 m 4‒6 m 0‒2 m 2‒4 m 4‒6 m
Competition index and the density of all seedlings and saplings 0.527** 0.441* 0.270 0.448** 0.244 0.114
Competition index and the density of surviving regenerated seedlings and saplings 0.463** 0.302 0.234 0.448** 0.640** 0.114
Table 3 Correlation between the density of seedlings and saplings and the competition index for H. persicum and H. persicum
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