Association between plant species diversity and edaphic factors in the lower reaches of the Heihe River, northwestern China

Zhao, Yu and Feng, Qi and Xi, Haiyang and Li, Huiya and Yang, Huaide and Deo, Ravinesh C. (2017) Association between plant species diversity and edaphic factors in the lower reaches of the Heihe River, northwestern China. Chemistry and Ecology, 33 (3). ISSN 0275-7540


The lower reaches of the Heihe River, in northwestern China, is characterised by unique local edaphic conditions that have influenced the development of local desert riparian forests. This study examines the variations in spatial variation patterns to reveal the relationships between plant species diversity and soil moisture/salinity/texture gradients at different soil depths, providing insights into the management and restoration of vegetation in ecosystems in the study area. The species–environmental relationships are investigated by redundancy analysis based on the plant species diversity matrix and the edaphic gradient matrix. A survey of 61 sampling plots identified 37 plant species in the study area. The distribution pattern of the plant species diversity are mainly affected by soil moisture, soil salinity, and soil texture at different soil depths. These edaphic factors are able to explain 98.47% of the total variation in the analysed vegetation dataset. Soil moisture, salinity, and texture content vary in terms of both the soil depths and the vegetation types in the study area. The plant community Class IV, xeric shrub, has the lowest soil water content among different vegetation types. The surface soil salinity differs for different plants and follows the order: Sophora alopecurides > Tamarix chinensis > Populus euphratica.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. We thank the staff in the Alashan Desert Eco-Hydrology Experimental Research Station for their indispensable help with the field investigation. Dr RC Deo acknowledges the CAS Presidential International Fellowship Initiative and USQ Academic Development and Outside Studies Program.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 00:26
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 01:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: soil properties; desert riparian forests; species richness; redundancy analysis; Heihe River
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/02757540.2017.1287904

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