Pop-up English-Chinese

Distribution, community characteristics and classification of Thymus mongolicus steppe in China

GAO Chen-Guang1,2 QIAO Xian-Guo1,2 WANG Zi1,2 LU Shuai-Zhi1,2 HOU Dong-Jie1,2 LIU Chang-Cheng1 ZHAO Li-Qing3 GUO Ke1,2

(1.State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100093)
(2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100049)
(3.College of Life Science, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China 010021)

【Abstract】Thymus mongolicus steppe was a vegetation formation dominated by typical dwarf semi-shrub of Lamiaceae. Based on the previous literature and primary plot data sampled during the growing seasons from 2015 to 2017, the distribution, ecological features, community characteristics, and classification of T. mongolicus steppe were summarized. (1) T. mongolicus steppe was mainly distributed on the loess hills of Xar Moron River Watershed, Bashang region in the northwest of Hebei Province, the hills surrounding the Yinshan Mountains, the east part of Erdos Plateau and the northern Loess Plateau. This formation occurred mainly on the stony slopes or loess hills with severe soil erosion. (2) In total, 167 seed plant species belonging to 101 genera of 34 families were recorded in the 91 sample sites, and families of Compositae, Leguminosae and Gramineae played crucial roles in the species composition. Eight of these families were semi-shrub and dwarf semi-shrub species, and 112 were perennial forb species. The typical xerophytes (58 species) and Meso-xerophytes (45 species) accounted for more than half part of all species. Eight geographic elements were involved. East Palaearctic (70 species) and East Asia (46 species) were the two major floristic elements. (3) Based on the life form and dominance of species in the community, the formation was classified into six association groups (T. mongolicus, semi-shrubs/dwarf semi-shurbs association group; T. mongolicus association group; T. mongolicus, bunchgrasses association group; T. mongolicus, rhizomatous grasses association group; T. mongolicus, Carex association group; T. mongolicus, forbs association group), consisting of 28 associations.

【Keywords】 Thymus mongolicus; dwarf semi-shrubby steppe; life form; floristic geographic elements; community classification;


【Funds】 National Basic Research Program of China (2014CB-138800) Key Program of National Fundamental Scientific Research (2015FY210200)

Download this article


    Chen LZ, Sun H, Guo K (2014). Floristic and Vegetation Geography of China. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).

    Editorial Board of the Vegetation Atlas of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2009). 1:1 000 000 Vegetation Atlas of China. Geology Publishing House, Beijing (in Chinese).

    Nei Mongol and Ningxia Scientific Expedition Group, Chinese Academic of Sciences (1985). Vegetation of Nei Mongol. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).

    Qiao XG, Guo K, Zhao LQ, Liu CC, Zhao HW, Hou DJ, Gao CG (2017). Distribution, community characteristics and classification of Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology, 41, 231–237 (in Chinese).

    Wu ZY (1980). Vegetation of China. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).

    Zhao YZ (2012). Classification and Its Florristic Ecological Geographic Distributions of Vascular Plants in Nei Mongol. Inner Mongolia University Press, Hohhot (in Chinese).

This Article



Vol 42, No. 09, Pages 971-976

September 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Methods
  • 2 Results and analyses
  • 3 Conclusions and discussion
  • References