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Effects of rainfall pattern on the growth and fecundity of a dominant dune annual in a semi-arid ecosystem

Aims Current and future changes in rainfall patterns – amount and frequency – may particularly impact annual plants in semi-arid ecosystems. The aim of this study was to investigate how changes in rainfall patterns affect the growth and fecundity of sand dune annuals. Methods The effects of gradient... Full description

Journal Title: Plant and soil 2015, Vol.389 (1/2), p.335-347
Main Author: Gao, Ruiru
Other Authors: Yang, Xuejun , Liu, Guofang , Huang, Zhenying , Walck, Jeffrey L.
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: Cham: Springer
ID: ISSN: 0032-079X
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recordid: cdi_proquest_journals_1668242680
title: Effects of rainfall pattern on the growth and fecundity of a dominant dune annual in a semi-arid ecosystem
format: Article
creator:
  • Gao, Ruiru
  • Yang, Xuejun
  • Liu, Guofang
  • Huang, Zhenying
  • Walck, Jeffrey L.
subjects:
  • Arid zones
  • Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Climate change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental aspects
  • Life Sciences
  • Plant growth
  • Plant Physiology
  • Plant Sciences
  • Plant-soil relationships
  • Plant-water relationships
  • Rain
  • Rain and rainfall
  • Regular Article
  • Soil Science & Conservation
  • Terrestrial ecosystems
ispartof: Plant and soil, 2015, Vol.389 (1/2), p.335-347
description: Aims Current and future changes in rainfall patterns – amount and frequency – may particularly impact annual plants in semi-arid ecosystems. The aim of this study was to investigate how changes in rainfall patterns affect the growth and fecundity of sand dune annuals. Methods The effects of gradients in five rainfall amounts and five frequencies, based on historical and predicted values, on growth and fecundity of Agriophyllum squarrosum, a dominant annual in Mu Us Sandland, were examined in the near natural habitat. Results Rainfall amount and frequency significantly affected all vegetative and reproductive traits. With decreased amount of rainfall, height, biomass, seed number, seed mass and reproductive effort decreased, while root/shoot ratio increased. Except for the two extreme frequencies (1- and 120-day intervals), values of all vegetative and reproductive traits increased with the increase of rainfall frequencies. Germinability of offspring seeds tended to increase with increasing aridity, suggesting that a maternal effect may have been present. Conclusions Our study shows that the plastic response in growth and fecundity of A. squarrosum to rainfall fluctuation allows the plant to survive and reproduce under current unpredictable environments as well as the increased variability predicted with climate change in semi-arid regions.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0032-079X
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0032-079X
  • 1573-5036
url: Link


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creatorcontribGao, Ruiru ; Yang, Xuejun ; Liu, Guofang ; Huang, Zhenying ; Walck, Jeffrey L.
descriptionAims Current and future changes in rainfall patterns – amount and frequency – may particularly impact annual plants in semi-arid ecosystems. The aim of this study was to investigate how changes in rainfall patterns affect the growth and fecundity of sand dune annuals. Methods The effects of gradients in five rainfall amounts and five frequencies, based on historical and predicted values, on growth and fecundity of Agriophyllum squarrosum, a dominant annual in Mu Us Sandland, were examined in the near natural habitat. Results Rainfall amount and frequency significantly affected all vegetative and reproductive traits. With decreased amount of rainfall, height, biomass, seed number, seed mass and reproductive effort decreased, while root/shoot ratio increased. Except for the two extreme frequencies (1- and 120-day intervals), values of all vegetative and reproductive traits increased with the increase of rainfall frequencies. Germinability of offspring seeds tended to increase with increasing aridity, suggesting that a maternal effect may have been present. Conclusions Our study shows that the plastic response in growth and fecundity of A. squarrosum to rainfall fluctuation allows the plant to survive and reproduce under current unpredictable environments as well as the increased variability predicted with climate change in semi-arid regions.
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subjectArid zones ; Biomedical and Life Sciences ; Climate change ; Ecology ; Environmental aspects ; Life Sciences ; Plant growth ; Plant Physiology ; Plant Sciences ; Plant-soil relationships ; Plant-water relationships ; Rain ; Rain and rainfall ; Regular Article ; Soil Science & Conservation ; Terrestrial ecosystems
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descriptionAims Current and future changes in rainfall patterns – amount and frequency – may particularly impact annual plants in semi-arid ecosystems. The aim of this study was to investigate how changes in rainfall patterns affect the growth and fecundity of sand dune annuals. Methods The effects of gradients in five rainfall amounts and five frequencies, based on historical and predicted values, on growth and fecundity of Agriophyllum squarrosum, a dominant annual in Mu Us Sandland, were examined in the near natural habitat. Results Rainfall amount and frequency significantly affected all vegetative and reproductive traits. With decreased amount of rainfall, height, biomass, seed number, seed mass and reproductive effort decreased, while root/shoot ratio increased. Except for the two extreme frequencies (1- and 120-day intervals), values of all vegetative and reproductive traits increased with the increase of rainfall frequencies. Germinability of offspring seeds tended to increase with increasing aridity, suggesting that a maternal effect may have been present. Conclusions Our study shows that the plastic response in growth and fecundity of A. squarrosum to rainfall fluctuation allows the plant to survive and reproduce under current unpredictable environments as well as the increased variability predicted with climate change in semi-arid regions.
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abstractAims Current and future changes in rainfall patterns – amount and frequency – may particularly impact annual plants in semi-arid ecosystems. The aim of this study was to investigate how changes in rainfall patterns affect the growth and fecundity of sand dune annuals. Methods The effects of gradients in five rainfall amounts and five frequencies, based on historical and predicted values, on growth and fecundity of Agriophyllum squarrosum, a dominant annual in Mu Us Sandland, were examined in the near natural habitat. Results Rainfall amount and frequency significantly affected all vegetative and reproductive traits. With decreased amount of rainfall, height, biomass, seed number, seed mass and reproductive effort decreased, while root/shoot ratio increased. Except for the two extreme frequencies (1- and 120-day intervals), values of all vegetative and reproductive traits increased with the increase of rainfall frequencies. Germinability of offspring seeds tended to increase with increasing aridity, suggesting that a maternal effect may have been present. Conclusions Our study shows that the plastic response in growth and fecundity of A. squarrosum to rainfall fluctuation allows the plant to survive and reproduce under current unpredictable environments as well as the increased variability predicted with climate change in semi-arid regions.
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