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31 October 2022, Volume 14 Issue 10 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Review article
Antelope adaptations to counteract overheating and water deficit in arid environments
David BLANK, LI Yaoming
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1069-1085.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0076-y
Abstract ( 41 )   HTML ( 8 )     PDF (424KB) ( 72 )  

Many arid areas have very severe climates with extremely high summer temperatures, strong solar radiation, and a lack of drinking water during the driest season. Therefore, antelopes living in arid areas are forced to solve two main problems: avoiding overheating and maintaining water balance. Generally, there are physiological, morphological, and behavioral mechanisms for antelope adaptations to arid environments. Among the mechanisms, behavioral adjustments have a minimal cost and are activated first, while physiological mechanisms are the most energetically costly and involve adaptations to high temperatures when other mechanisms are insufficient. In previous publications, some examples of the antelope behavioral adaptations have been described only rarely, while in this review, we try to clarify all available information on the adaptations of antelopes living in arid areas to their native environments, paying particular attention to behavioral adjustments. Behavioral mechanisms, especially daily activity, diet and microclimate selection, and migrations, are so important and commonly used by antelopes in natural conditions, in which physiological mechanisms are usually not involved. Antelopes adjust their behaviors according to environmental changes so successfully that purely physiological mechanisms are discovered under laboratory conditions; for example, adaptive heterothermia or selective brain cooling phenomenon is difficult to observe in their natural habitats. This review provides a better understanding of the main behavioral mechanisms of antelope adaptations to arid environments and allows for the identification of the key factors for successful conservation of antelopes in their natural habitats.

Research article
Contents and spatial distribution patterns of heavy metals in the hinterland of the Tengger Desert, China
WANG Zhao, WEI Junjie, PENG Wenbin, ZHANG Rui, ZHANG Haobo
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1086-1098.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0027-7
Abstract ( 70 )   HTML ( 27 )     PDF (3608KB) ( 143 )  

The desert in northern China is one of important sources of loess and one significant source of material for sandstorms in Asia. The sand/dust that is transported from desert when sandstorms occur can destroy the growth of crops, cause serious losses and great harm to the economic construction and life safety, and cause natural environment pollution. Hence, it is very important to deepen the research into heavy metals in surface deposits at vulnerable ecological region of arid land of northern China to guide local industrial and agricultural development and improve environmental protection. In this research, 10 heavy metal elements (Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Th) were tested and analyzed in 33 soil sample sites collected from the hinterland of the Tengger Desert, northern China. The results showed that the average abundance of Th exceeded its background soil value of China by more than 5.2 times, which suggests that the Tengger Desert is polluted by Th. In addition, based on principal component analysis, spatial differentiation, and correlation analysis, we identified the source of element with a coefficient of variation in abundance of greater than 0.5 or exceeding the background soil value of China. Principal component analysis and correlation analysis showed that the sources of heavy metals of Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Cd were similar, while those of Th and Zn were different. Moreover, based on the contents and spatial distribution characteristics of those heavy metal elements, we found that the formation of heavy metal elements enrichment areas is caused by industrial pollution, development of irrigated agricultural, geological, and geomorphic conditions, and the sedimentary environment in the study area. Our result can provide information on the environmental background values of soils in the hinterland of the Tengger Desert.

Background value of Chinaa(mg/kg)

Effects of native and invasive Prosopis species on topsoil physiochemical properties in an arid riparian forest of Hormozgan Province, Iran
Maryam MOSLEHI JOUYBARI, Asgahr BIJANI, Hossien PARVARESH, Ross SHACKLETON, Akram AHMADI
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1099-1108.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0104-y
Abstract ( 22 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (1453KB) ( 60 )  

Biological invasions can alter soil properties within the range of their introduced, leading to impacts on ecosystem services, ecosystem functions, and biodiversity. To better understand the impacts of biological invasions on soil, we compared topsoil physiochemical properties at sites with invasive alien tree species (Prosopis juliflora), native tree species (Prosopis cineraria, Acacia tortilis, and Acacia ehrenbergiana), and mixed tree species in Hormozgan Province of Iran in May 2018. In this study, we collected 40 soil samples at a depth of 10 cm under single tree species, including P. juliflora, P. cineraria, A. tortilis, and A. ehrenbergiana, as well as under mixed tree species. The results showed that organic matter, moisture, potassium, calcium, nitrogen, and magnesium in topsoil at sites with A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana growing in combination with P. cineraria were higher than that at sites where P. juliflora was present (P<0.05). Sodium at sites with A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana growing in combination with P. cineraria and P. juliflora was lower as compared to that at sites with just A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana. Electrical conductivity was lower at sites with A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana growing in combination with P. cineraria, and it was higher at sites with mixed Acacia and P. juliflora trees. Based on the generally more positive effect of native Acacia and P. cineraria on topsoil physiochemical properties as compared to the P. julifora, afforestation with native tree species is preferable for soil restoration. In addition, due to the negative effects of P. julifora on soil properties, P. julifora spread should be better managed.

Manipulated precipitation regulated carbon and phosphorus limitations of microbial metabolisms in a temperate grassland on the Loess Plateau, China
HAI Xuying, LI Jiwei, LIU Yulin, WU Jianzhao, LI Jianping, SHANGGUAN Zhouping, DENG Lei
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1109-1123.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0028-6
Abstract ( 21 )   HTML ( 7 )     PDF (3183KB) ( 67 )  

Manipulated precipitation patterns can profoundly influence the metabolism of soil microorganisms. However, the responses of soil organic carbon (SOC) and nutrient turnover to microbial metabolic limitation under changing precipitation conditions remain unclear in semi-arid ecosystems. This study measured the potential activities of enzymes associated with carbon (C: β-1,4-glucosidase (BG) and β-D-cellobiosidase (CBH)), nitrogen (N: β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) and L-leucine aminopeptidase (LAP)) and phosphorus (P: alkaline phosphatase (AP)) acquisition, to quantify soil microbial metabolic limitations using enzymatic stoichiometry, and then identify the implications for soil microbial metabolic limitations and carbon use efficiency (CUE) under decreased precipitation by 50% (DP) and increased precipitation by 50% (IP) in a temperate grassland. The results showed that soil C and P were the major elements limiting soil microbial metabolism in temperate grasslands. There was a strong positive dependence between microbial C and P limitations under manipulated precipitation. Microbial metabolism limitation was promoted by DP treatment but reversed by IP treatment. Moreover, CUE was inhibited by DP treatment but promoted by IP treatment. Soil microbial metabolism limitation was mainly regulated by soil moisture and soil C, N, and P stoichiometry, followed by available nutrients (i.e., NO- 3, NH+ 4, and dissolved organic C) and microbial biomass (i.e., MBC and MBN). Overall, these findings highlight the potential role of changing precipitation in regulating ecosystem C turnover by limiting microbial metabolism and CUE in temperate grassland ecosystems.

Leaf stoichiometry of Leontopodium lentopodioides at high altitudes on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China
WANG Hairu, SU Haohai, Asim BISWAS, CAO Jianjun
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1124-1137.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0033-9
Abstract ( 19 )   HTML ( 5 )     PDF (1301KB) ( 71 )  

Altitude affects leaf stoichiometry by regulating temperature and precipitation, and influencing soil properties in mountain ecosystems. Leaf carbon concentration (C), leaf nitrogen concentration (N), leaf phosphorous concentration (P), and their stoichiometric ratios of Leontopodium lentopodioides (Willd.) Beauv., a widespread species in degraded grasslands, were investigated to explore its response and adaptation strategy to environmental changes along four altitude gradients (2500, 3000, 3500, and 3800 m a.s.l.) on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), China. The leaf C significantly varied but without any clear trend with increasing altitude. Leaf N showed an increasing trend, and leaf P showed a little change with increasing altitude, with a lower value of leaf P at 3500 m than those at other altitudes. Similarity, leaf C:P and N:P exhibited a little change with increasing altitude, which both had greater values at 3500 m than those at other altitudes. However, leaf C:N exhibited a decreasing trend with increasing altitude. Soil NH+ 4-N, soil pH, soil total phosphorus (STP), mean annual temperature (MAT), and mean annual precipitation (MAP) were identified as the main factors driving the variations in leaf stoichiometry of L. lentopodioides across all altitudes, with NH+ 4-N alone accounting for 50.8% of its total variation. Specifically, leaf C and N were mainly controlled by MAT, soil pH, and NH+ 4-N, while leaf P by MAP and STP. In the study area, it seems that the growth of L. lentopodioides may be mainly limited by STP. The results could help to strengthen our understanding of the plasticity of plant growth to environmental changes and provide new information on global grassland management and restoration.

Competition, spatial pattern, and regeneration of Haloxylon ammodendron and Haloxylon persicum communities in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwest China
LIU Yaxuan, ZENG Yong, YANG Yuhui, WANG Ning, LIANG Yuejia
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1138-1158.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0105-x
Abstract ( 24 )   HTML ( 5 )     PDF (2955KB) ( 61 )  

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.

Leaf morpho-physiology and phytochemistry of olive trees as affected by cultivar type and increasing aridity
Said TOUATI, Jawaher AYADI, Abdelhakim BOUAJILA, Smail ACILA, Rami RAHMANI, Jalloul BOUAJILA, Mohamed DEBOUBA
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (10): 1159-1179.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0078-9
Abstract ( 26 )   HTML ( 6 )     PDF (3485KB) ( 18 )  

The olive species (Olea europaea L.) is an ancient traditional crop grown under rainfed conditions in the Mediterranean Basin. In response to the growing national and international demand for olive oil, the olive cultivars are introduced into highly arid new bioclimatic areas. Subsequently, the morpho-physiology and phytochemistry of olive trees are potentially changing among cultivar types and geographical conditions. In the present work, we have undertaken an assessment on the impacts of geographical location and cultivar types on the leaf morpho-physiology and phytochemistry of olive trees. Thus, leaves of the two most cultivated olive tree varieties, Chemlal and Sigoise, were collected from three geographical regions (Setif, Batna, and Eloued) with increasing aridity in Algeria. Leaf samples from the geographical regions were analyzed using the standard physiological experiment, colorimetric method, and a chromatography assay. Leaves of both cultivars exhibited a significant variance in terms of the leaf shape index but not for the leaf tissue density, specific leaf weight, and specific leaf area. Photosynthetic pigment contents were affected by both cultivar type and geographical location, with the lowest pigment content recorded in the Sigoise cultivar from the Setif region. Compared with the Setif and Batna regions, dried leaves of both cultivars from the Eloued region showed the higher levels of the total polyphenol, total flavonoid, and total tannin, as well as a better antioxidant capacity. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of all leaf extracts identified the following phenolic acids as major compounds: oleuropein, naringin, apigenin-7-O-glucoside, kaempferol, quercetin, quercitrin, luteolin-7-O-naringenin, and quinic acid. Lower contents were found for p-Coumaric acid, trans-Ferulic acid, hyperoside, rutin, apigenin, caffeic acid, protocatechuic acid, o-Coumaric acid, and gallic acid. Also, epicatechin and catechin+ were not found in the leaf extracts of the Sigoise cultivar. The leaf organic extracts in both cultivars displayed promising anti-cancer activity that was affected by geographical location and organic solvent polarity. Briefly, although increasing aridity and soil organic and mineral deficiency affected the leaf morpho-physiological parameters, both cultivars sustained a chemical richness, a good antioxidant, and an anti-tumoral capacity in leaves. Furthermore, the findings revealed that regardless the olive tree genotype, there was a significant impact of geographical location on the leaf morpho-physiology, bioactivity, and chemical composition, which may consequently modulate the growth and oil production of olive trees.