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Zhu R.Q.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Zhu R.Q.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Zhu R.Q.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Li X.R.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Li X.R.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions
Vegetos | Year: 2014

Species traits, environmental gradients, and distribution pattern could be three main tools providing mechanistic understanding of ecosystems, predicting the key issues in ecological stability, balance, and succession orientation. Present study is focused on a desert-oasis area, characterized by possible two abiotic environmental gradients and the distribution of seven plant species dominating four types of sand dunes. Aim of this study is to find the desert survival mechanisms for sand-binding application. Within the accessions of this transitional belt, three major types of water use characteristics could be defined. Dominant species including shrubs and herbs were significantly negatively correlated with their diurnal transpiration at rhizosphere moisture (P<0.01,R2=0.94). The results indicate pioneer species surviving arid desert by lavish water use strategies, with less cover, high Pr, high Tr, high WUE and preceding cresting of WUE. Soil property gradient played an important role in affecting the fixed and semi-fixed dunes, while soil moisture gradient was more important in shifting and semi-shifting dunes. © 2014, Society for Plant Research. All rights reserved.


Chen G.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Chen G.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zhao J.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Zhao J.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 10 more authors.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2014

Agriophyllum squarrosum is an annual psammophyte adapted to mobile sand dunes in arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia. The species has evolved a range of physiological, morphological, and ecological adaptations to allow it to be a pioneer species of unstable, nutrient-poor, drought-prone and hot sand dunes. Local populations in the sandy desert regions of China consume the seed of the species during periods of food shortage, and refer to the plant as "shami" in Chinese, which translates as "sand rice". The sand rice seeds have high nutritional value, containing around 23 % protein, 9 % lipid, 45 % carbohydrates, 8 % crude fiber and 5 % ash. The protein fraction includes the full range of essential amino acids required in the human diet. The lipid fraction comprises mostly polyunsaturated fatty acid. The ash fraction is rich in iron. Sand rice is a good candidate species for domestication to provide a food crop resilient to future climate change. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Lei H.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Lei H.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Peng Z.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Peng Z.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | And 4 more authors.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2016

Because the exploitation of mineral resources has resulted in the destruction of vast amounts of land and caused serious environmental problems, ecological restoration and mine reclamation have become important components of the sustainable development strategies of many countries. In this study, the changes in plant species diversity and succession of soil physicochemical properties were studied in revegetated refuse dumps of varying ages (1995, 1998, 2003, 2005 and 2014) and an undisturbed reference site of the Heidaigou opencast coal mine, which is located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. In addition, based on the space-for-time substitution approach, the rate and extent of recovery of the vegetation and soil characteristics in the above long-term chronosequence were estimated. The results showed that opencast mining revegetation have a positive effect on environmental restoration. The total species number and the richness, coverage and biomass of herbaceous species increased significantly with increasing site age. However, for shrub species, an initial increase was observed over a period of 10 years and then followed by a subsequent decrease. The mean soil water content in the oldest vegetated areas (1995 site, 2.3–5.9%) was significantly greater than in the younger vegetated areas (e.g., 2014 site, 1.1–2.5%) in the shallow layer (0–60 cm); however, in the deeper layers (60–200 cm), the mean soil water content in the oldest vegetated areas (4.2–8.1%) was significantly lower than in the younger vegetated areas (5.1–12.5%). The proportions of silt and clay, depth of topsoil and biological soil crusts, and concentrations of soil organic C, K, total N, and total P increased with the years since revegetation. The estimated time required for plant traits and soil properties in the revegetated site to reach the same levels as in the reference site was between 23 and 25 years. These results suggest that soil recovery and vegetation recovery are equally important in eco-restoration activities in semiarid areas, and the conservation of soil and vegetation habitat is therefore a crucial issue for land managers. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Liu M.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Liu M.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Liu M.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Li X.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2013

Flavonoid are known to have various functions in growth, development, reproduction, and also involved in diverse stress responses in plants. However, little is known about the roles of the key enzymes in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in response to environmental stress, such as UV-B radiation and drought. To understand this problem, we investigated the participation of flavanone 3-hydroxylase gene (F3H), a key enzyme in flavonoid biosynthetic pathway under UV-B radiation and drought stress in the desert plant Reaumuria soongorica. A novel cDNA sequence, named as RsF3H, was isolated from R.soongorica. The deduced amino acids showed high identities to other F3Hs. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that RsF3H appeared to be most homologous to F3H from Malus domestica (MdF3H). RsF3H protein structure contained all five conserved motifs for 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases (2-ODDs) and an Arg-X-Ser motif, all of which were also found in other F3Hs. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis showed that there was a rapid increase in gene expression of RsF3H under stress. Both UV-B radiation and drought stress induced an increase in RsF3H enzyme activity and the accumulation of the products in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway (total flavonoid and anthocyanin). The antioxidant ability (inhibition of lipid oxidation) of total flavonoid was enhanced during this study. The results suggested that one explanation of the stress tolerance of R.soongorica may be a combination of an increase in RsF3H gene expression, RsF3H enzyme activity and the anti-oxidative ability of the metabolic end products in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in response to UV-B radiation and drought. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Chen G.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Chen G.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | Zhao J.,Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions | Zhao J.,CAS Lanzhou Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute | And 10 more authors.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2014

Agriophyllum squarrosum is an annual psammophyte adapted to mobile sand dunes in arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia. The species has evolved a range of physiological, morphological, and ecological adaptations to allow it to be a pioneer species of unstable, nutrient-poor, drought-prone and hot sand dunes. Local populations in the sandy desert regions of China consume the seed of the species during periods of food shortage, and refer to the plant as “shami” in Chinese, which translates as “sand rice”. The sand rice seeds have high nutritional value, containing around 23 % protein, 9 % lipid, 45 % carbohydrates, 8 % crude fiber and 5 % ash. The protein fraction includes the full range of essential amino acids required in the human diet. The lipid fraction comprises mostly polyunsaturated fatty acid. The ash fraction is rich in iron. Sand rice is a good candidate species for domestication to provide a food crop resilient to future climate change. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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