Reproductive characteristics of Artemisia scoparia and the analysis of the underlying soil drivers in a desert steppe of China

CHEN Lin1,2 WANG Lei1,2 YANG Xin-Guo1,2 SONG Nai-Ping1,2 LI Yue-Fei1,2 SU Ying1,2 BIAN Ying-Ying1,2 ZHU Zhong-You1,2 MENG Wen-Ting1,2

(1.Breeding Base for State Key Laboratory of Land Degradation and Ecological Restoration in Northwest China, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, China 750021)
(2.Key Laboratory for Restoration and Reconstruction of Degraded Ecosystem in Northwest China of Ministry of Education, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, China 750021)

【Abstract】 Aims Reproduction is an important part of plant life activities, and thus the reproductive characteristics of plants play an important role in explaining the ecological adaptability of plants as well as developing effective management strategy plans. The aims of this study are to explore the reproductive characteristics of Artemisia scoparia and analyze its main soil driving factors in a desert steppe of China. Methods As a method to extract and summarize the variation in a set of response variables, the redundancy analysis can be explained by a group of explanatory variables. In the present study, we selected the A. scoparia population in a desert steppe, and examined the physicochemical properties of different soil types and reproductive characteristics of A. scoparia with the redundancy analysis. Important findings There were significant differences in water-soluble carbon content (Cws), total nitrogen content (TN), total phosphorus content (TP), total salt content (TS), soil moisture (Ms) and soil hardness (SH) of calcareous soil (SS), aeolian sand soil (ASS) and weathered residual soil (WB). The average mass (Ma), the number (Ni) of average individual head inflorescence, and the average individual size (Sai) of a single plant were the largest in the SS habitat, followed by ASS and WB. No significant difference was observed in the reproductive allocation (Ra) of A.scoparia in different soil types. Extremely significant positive correlation was observed between Ra and the quality of single capitate inflorescence (Me), Ni and Ma, respectively, while Ni was negatively correlated with Me. The variation of the reproductive characteristics of A. scoparia was mainly affected by the soil water soluble carbon content (Cws), soil hardness (SH), soil moisture (Ms), TP and available phosphorus content (AP) in WB habitat. Ma was mainly affected by Cws, Ms and pH value; Ni was mainly affected by total salt content (TS); Ra and Me were mainly affected by the total carbon content (Ct) in the ASS habitat. Ma was positively correlated with Cws, Ms and Co, while the correlation between Ma and Co was not significant; Ni was significantly affected by the available nitrogen content (AN) in the SS habitat. A comprehensive analysis of the three soil types showed that the total explanatory amount of soil factors affecting the reproductive characteristics of A.scoparia was 30.74%. Ma and Ni were significantly affected by Cws and Ms. Ra and Me were negatively correlated with Cws and Ms though they were not statistically significant. We conclude that Cws and Ms are the main soil factors affecting the reproductive characteristics of A. scoparia populations in the desert grassland.

【Keywords】 desert steppe; Artemisia scoparia; reproductive characteristic; soil factor; redundancy analysis;


【Funds】 National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC0500709) Ningxia University Top-ranking Discipline Construction Funding Project (Ecology) (NXYLXK2017B06) Natural Science Foundation of Ningxia (2018AAC03037) The Third Batch of Ningxia Youth Talents Supporting Program (TJGC2018068)

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(Translated by ZHAO B)


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This Article



Vol 43, No. 01, Pages 65-76

January 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Methodology
  • 2 Results and analysis
  • 3 Discussion and conclusions
  • Supplement Ⅰ Basic information of the plots of Artemisia scoparia in the desert steppe of Ningxia
  • References