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Chang Z.-F.,Minq in National Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem Studies | Chang Z.-F.,Gansu Key Laboratory of Desertification Combating | Chang Z.-F.,Desert Research Institute | Wang Q.-Q.,Minq in National Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem Studies | And 8 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2011

Based on the phenological and meteorological data observed in the Minqin desert area since 1974, 22 plant species in the area were classified into 3 life forms, i.e., arbor, shrub, and herb in terms of growth type, and again, divided into phenerophyte; chamaephyte; and hemicryptophyte according to positions where the renewal buds seated. By these two methods; the differences in the phnelogical responses of the 3 life form plants were analyzed. As for the 3 life form plants; whatever either of the two methods adopted; they were more sensitive to temperature change in spring than in autumn; and the differences in their phenological responses were greater when classified according to growth type; with larger differences mainly between arbors and shrub. Both the duration of local growth season and the advancing magnitudes of the phenology of arbor and phaenerophyte in spring were greater than those recorded in other literatures. The higher the renewal buds seated, the more sensitive the responses of the plants to climate warming in current month and in the same year, implying that within the scope of the arbor height above ground, the higher the vertical distance from the ground, the more significant the effect of temperature on the phenology of the plants in spring.


Chang Z.F.,Minqin National Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem Studies | Chang Z.F.,Gansu Key Laboratory of Desertification Combating | Chang Z.F.,Desert Research Institute | Zhu S.J.,Minqin National Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem Studies | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Arid Land | Year: 2012

Globally climates are warming. How do desert plants of different ecotypes respond to the climate change? This paper studied the differing responses to climate warming shown by desert plants of different ecotypes through analyzing the phenology and meteorological data of 22 desert plant species growing in Minqin Desert Botanical Garden in Northwest China during the period 1974-2009. The results indicate: (1) The temperature in the study area has risen quickly since 1974, and plants' growing periods became longer. The spring phenology of mesophytes advanced, and the autumn phenology of xerophytes was delayed; (2) The starting dates of spring phenophase of mesophytes and xerophytes differed significantly and both showed an advancing trend; (3) The spring phenology of mesophytes advanced by more days than that of xerophytes, whereas the autumn phenology of mesophytes was delayed by less days than that of the xerophytes; and (4) Mesophytes are more sensitive than xerophytes to rising temperature in spring and falling temperature in autumn. These findings are of value in plant management and regional introduction of different species.


Chang Z.,Minqin National Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem Studies | Chang Z.,Gansu Key Laboratory of Desertification Combating | Chang Z.,Desert Research Institute | Wang Y.,Minqin National Station for Desert Steppe Ecosystem Studies | And 8 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2012

The frequency of sandstorms has showed a decreasing trend with fluctuations in the Minqin desert area. In order to explore the reason for that, based on observations of sandstorms since 1956, and measured data of plant phenology since 1974, monthly variation of sandstorms was calculated with standard deviations while correlation between the frequency of sandstorms and climatic elements such as air humidity as well as plant phenology was computed with correlation coefficients. Results show that reduction in frequency of sandstorms is highly correlated with an increase in air humidity and has a certain relationship with advancing and postponing of plant phenology in spring and autumn respectively. The conclusions of this kind have not been reported so far at home and abroad. In particular, the relationship between the frequency of sandstorms and changes in plant phenology is a new finding, which needs to be verified by research in other regions.


Han F.,State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating | Han F.,Gansu Key Laboratory of Desertification Combating | Han F.,Desert Research Institute | Xu X.,State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Desertification and Aeolian Sand Disaster Combating | And 14 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2013

Growth and development of plants were always influenced by the combined effects of climate conditions accumulated in the previous periods, which was always explained by the variation of phenological characteristics of plants. With the rapidly increase of average surface temperature over the 20th century, shifts in animal and plant phenology have been widely reported in the northern hemisphere, phenology was now recognized as one of the simplest and most frequently used bio-indicators for studying the climate change. However, there are great differences in the response of plant phenology to the climate change, and which one will be the relatively sensitive meteorological factors to the phenology of plant species, to which time scale the plant species will be responded significantly is still unknown, this make it difficult to accurately predict the responding process of plant species to the climate change. Phenological data of typical herbaceous plants (Lris lacteal) and the corresponding meteorological data were both collected from the Minqin Desert Botanical Garden in 1974- 2007, and phenological characteristics of this species was analyzed and its response to the accumulated precipitation and temperature in different time scales were studied. The conclusions were obtained as follows: (1) The growing season length (difference between the starting date of budding period to the ending date of wilting period) of Lris lacteal was about 201.7 days with an increasing rate of 0.8 days per 10 years, which was not statistically significant during 1974-2007 (P>0.1). (2) Except the starting date (which refers to the time when nearly 50% of the species have experienced a certain phenological event) of the flowering period showed an obvious delay, and was statistically significant, the starting date and the ending date (which refers to the time when most of the species have finished this event) of remaining phenophases all displayed a slight delay, and was not statistically significant. The duration period (days of difference between the starting and ending date of one phenology) of all the phenophases of Lris lacteal varied greatly in different years, in which the duration period of budding period, flowering period and fruiting period all exhibited a decreasing trend, while leafing period and wilting period both showed an increasing trend, all of which were not statistically significant. (3) The extension of growing season lengths of Lris lacteal was attributed to the combined effects of both temperature and precipitation. The starting date of phenophases of this species was greatly influenced by the accumulated temperature from the preceding 3 weeks to 3 months, which was statistically significant at the 95% confidence level, while which has no relations with the accumulated temperature in preceding 1-3 years. Some of the phenophases of this species has a slight response to the accumulated precipitation in short-term and mid-term period, but no influence was found on the accumulated precipitation in the long-term period. (4) Phenophases of Lris lacteal was not only influenced by the local climate change, but also has some relations with its water use mechanisms, climate change in the future may have an great influence on the phenological characteristics of typical herbaceous plants in this desert area.


Chang Z.-f.,Gansu Key Laboratory of Desertification Combating | Chang Z.-f.,Desert Research Institute | Zhang J.-h.,Gansu Key Laboratory of Desertification Combating | Zhang J.-h.,Desert Research Institute | And 10 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2012

The formation of sand-accumulation belt along oasis edge is a new scientific concern. In Hexi of Gansu, a sand-accumulation belt has been formed along oasis edge for almost 50 years as a result of desert control efforts. To understand the relationships between the formation of this belt and environmental factors, an investigation was conducted along the oasis edge from the east to the middle and west of Hexi corridor. The average height of the sand-accumulation belt is 12-77 m, and the average width is 308.48 m. There exists a significant positive correlation between the belt width and height, and the belt height and its increasing rate are significantly positively correlated with the mean annual precipitation and wind speed. Precipitation is the key factor deciding the belt height, while the mean annual wind speed is the secondary one. To set up a wheat straw sand barrier at the top of big sand dunes could continuously heighten the sand-accumulation belt.

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