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Characteristics of δ~(13) C Values of Desert Plants and Their Water Utilization Efficiency Indicated by δ~(13) C Values in the Desert of Central Hexi Corridor Region

SU Pei\|xi,\ CHEN Huai\|shun,\ LI Qi\|sen (Linze Desert Ecosystem Station, CAREERI, CAS, Lanzhou Gansu 730000, China)  
Temperate desert plants always grow in the high temperature, arid and water deficit environment throughout a year. Different plants have different photosynthetic organs to adapt extreme environmental conditions. The purpose of this paper is to probe into the characteristics of\{δ 13 C\} of leaves and assimilating shoots and into water use efficiency (WUE) of desert plants, and to provide a theoretical basic for protecting and fostering natural ecosystems of desert regions. The results achieved by the present study will serve restoring the degraded vegetation and maintaining the stability of protective eco\|systems in the peripheric districts of oases. The\{δ 13 C\} values of leaves and assimilating shoots of desert plants in the desert of central Hexi Corridor region (39°19′~39°21′ N, 100°02′~100°21′ E, \{1 368\}~\{1 380\} m a.s.l.) were analyzed and discussed in this paper. \{δ 13 C\} of leaves and assimilating shoots and \{δ 13 C\} air were analysed with MAT\|252 mass spectrometer. The characteristics of\{δ 13 C\} of leaves or assimilating shoots and WUE of plants indicated by\{δ 13 C\} values in this region were also studied. At the same time, comparative studies of shelterbelt arborous species and some oasis crops were also carried out. The results indicate that the \{δ 13 C\} values of assimilating shoots of \%Haloxylon ammodendron\% and \%Calligonum mongolicum\% are \{-14.31‰\} and \{-14.8‰\} respectively, and stable carbon isotope discrimination (\%Δ\%) is between 5‰~6‰. The \{δ 13 C\} values of leaves for \%Caragana korshinskii, Nitraria sphaerocarpa, Hedysarum scoparium\% and \%Reaumuria soongorica\% are \{-25.75‰\}, \{-25.79‰\}, \{-26.38‰\} and \{-28.05‰\} respectively, while \%Δ\% is between 16‰~20‰.\;The long\|term water use efficiency of several desert plant species can be ranked in the general order: \%H. ammodendron≈C. mongolicumC. korshinskii≈N. sphaerocarpa≈H. \{scoparium\}R. soongorica\%.
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