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《干旱区科学(英文版)》 2019-01
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Phenotypic plasticity of Artemisia ordosica seedlings in response to different levels of calcium carbonate in soil

XUE Pingping;ZHAO Xuelai;GAO Yubao;HE Xingdong;College of Life Sciences, Nankai University;  
Plant phenotypic plasticity is a common feature that is crucial for explaining interspecific competition, dynamics and biological evolution of plant communities. In this study, we tested the effects of soil CaCO_3(calcium carbonate) on the phenotypic plasticity of a psammophyte, Artemisia ordosica, an important plant species on sandy lands in arid and semi-arid areas of China, by performing pot experiments under different CaCO_3 contents with a two-factor randomized block design and two orthogonal designs. We analyzed the growth responses(including plant height, root length, shoot-leaf biomass and root biomass) of A. ordosica seedlings to different soil CaCO_3 contents. The results revealed that, with a greater soil CaCO_3 content, A. ordosica seedlings gradually grew more slowly, with their relative growth rates of plant height, root length, shoot-leaf biomass and root biomass all decreasing significantly. Root N/P ratios showed significant negative correlations with the relative growth rates of plant height, shoot-leaf biomass and root length of A. ordosica seedlings; however, the relative growth rate of root length increased significantly with the root P concentration increased, showing a positive correlation. These results demonstrate that soil CaCO_3 reduces the local P availability in soil, which produces a non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity to A. ordosica seedlings. This study should prove useful for planning and promoting the restoration of damaged/degraded vegetation in arid and semi-arid areas of China.
【Fund】: supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0500706)
【CateGory Index】: Q945
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