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Adventitious roots are key to the development of nebkhas in extremely arid regions

Adventitious roots are key to the development of nebkhas in extremely arid regions Abstract Aims Nebkhas, discrete sand mounds formed with a plant, are a common landscape feature critical to the stability of desert ecosystems. However, adaptations which allow plants to thrive in nebkhas in extremely arid regions are still unclear. The objectives of this study were to test the role of adventitious roots (AR) in the growth and development of Nitraria sphaerocarpa-vegetated nebkhas. Methods We determined biomass distribution patterns and nutrient levels in small, medium, and large nebkhas representing different stages of nebkha development from young to mature, respectively. Results Our results showed that biomass allocation patterns and nutrient levels were very different among the different nebkha sizes. The proportions of leaves and stems increased with the increase in nebkha size, while those of AR and initial roots (IR) decreased. This indicated that, with an increase in nebkha size, N. sphaerocarpa allocated a higher proportion of biomass to leaves and stems mainly at the expense of roots, and that allowed plants to withstand increased burial depth. The proportion of AR, especially fine AR, varied among nebkha sizes. The proportion of AR in large nebkhas was significantly higher than in small nebkhas. For small and medium nebkhas, the proportion of fine AR was smaller than that of fine IR; for large nebkhas, the proportion of fine AR was higher. This indicated that AR, produced higher on the buried stems in the late stages of nebkha development, may provide increased access to water and nutrients to ensure nebkha survival. Nutrient levels were different in AR and IR of different nebkha growth stages. N and P contents of coarse AR and IR increased with nebkha size. For small nebkhas, N and K levels in fine AR were significantly lower than those in IR; however, for large nebkhas, N and K levels in AR were significantly higher than those in IR. This indicated that AR in the late stages of nebkha development may have stronger absorptive capacity for resources than IR. Conclusions We conclude that AR are key factor which ensured both the survival and development of N. sphaerocarpa nebkha in extremely arid environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Plant and Soil Springer Journals

Adventitious roots are key to the development of nebkhas in extremely arid regions

Plant and Soil , Volume 442 (1): 12 – Sep 1, 2019

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References (62)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
ISSN
0032-079X
eISSN
1573-5036
DOI
10.1007/s11104-019-04209-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Aims Nebkhas, discrete sand mounds formed with a plant, are a common landscape feature critical to the stability of desert ecosystems. However, adaptations which allow plants to thrive in nebkhas in extremely arid regions are still unclear. The objectives of this study were to test the role of adventitious roots (AR) in the growth and development of Nitraria sphaerocarpa-vegetated nebkhas. Methods We determined biomass distribution patterns and nutrient levels in small, medium, and large nebkhas representing different stages of nebkha development from young to mature, respectively. Results Our results showed that biomass allocation patterns and nutrient levels were very different among the different nebkha sizes. The proportions of leaves and stems increased with the increase in nebkha size, while those of AR and initial roots (IR) decreased. This indicated that, with an increase in nebkha size, N. sphaerocarpa allocated a higher proportion of biomass to leaves and stems mainly at the expense of roots, and that allowed plants to withstand increased burial depth. The proportion of AR, especially fine AR, varied among nebkha sizes. The proportion of AR in large nebkhas was significantly higher than in small nebkhas. For small and medium nebkhas, the proportion of fine AR was smaller than that of fine IR; for large nebkhas, the proportion of fine AR was higher. This indicated that AR, produced higher on the buried stems in the late stages of nebkha development, may provide increased access to water and nutrients to ensure nebkha survival. Nutrient levels were different in AR and IR of different nebkha growth stages. N and P contents of coarse AR and IR increased with nebkha size. For small nebkhas, N and K levels in fine AR were significantly lower than those in IR; however, for large nebkhas, N and K levels in AR were significantly higher than those in IR. This indicated that AR in the late stages of nebkha development may have stronger absorptive capacity for resources than IR. Conclusions We conclude that AR are key factor which ensured both the survival and development of N. sphaerocarpa nebkha in extremely arid environment.

Journal

Plant and SoilSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 1, 2019

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