Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 266-273.doi: 10.17520/biods.2017330

• Methodology • Previous Article     Next Article

Methods of observing typical steppe plant communities: Applications to two typical formations

Gao Chenguang1, 2, Guo Ke1, 2, *(), Qiao Xianguo1, 2, Lu Shuaizhi1, 2, Liu Changcheng1, Hou Dongjie1, 2, Wang Zi1, 2   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2017-12-15 Accepted:2018-03-18 Online:2018-05-05
  • Guo Ke E-mail:guoke@ibcas.ac.cn

A typical plant community, which reflects the basic community characteristics of a vegetation classification unit, can be designated as a standard unit for describing a distinct vegetation type. Providing observations of typical plant communities in the steppe is the main function of the Steppe and Desert Biodiversity Observation Network and Sino Biodiversity Observation Network (Sino BON). Methods of observing typical plant communities have been published. We set up permanent observation plots of Form. Stipa krylovii and Form. Thymus mongolicus as examples during the summer of 2017. Observation methods were applied and validated, and included stand selection and plot design, vegetation surveys, and data analysis. Based on practical observations and analysis, we demonstrated the applicability of the observation methods presented in the previously published paper “Methods of observing typical plant communities in the Steppe and Desert Biodiversity Observation Network, Sino BON”. Suggestions for the improvement of the content, methods, and indices of observation were presented with respect to problem areas. We aim to provide a case demonstrating the applicability of the standard methods for future observations.

Key words: typical plant community, Form. Stipa krylovii, Form. Thymus mongolicus, observation methods

Fig. 1

Plot design of typical plant community of Form. Stipa krylovii. Q, Quadrats, 1 m × 1 m; O, Central point of the plot."

Table 1

Basic properties of typical plant community of Form. Stipa krylovii"

主样地 Main plot 副样地 Auxiliary plot
0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-30 cm 30-40 cm 40-50 cm 0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-30 cm
pH 7.84 8.23 8.35 8.88 8.82 8.05 8.11 8.38
有机碳 Organic carbon (g/kg) 25.14 17.13 10.25 10.67 6.52 26.87 42.64 42.92
全氮 Total N (g/kg) 2.46 1.66 1.00 1.14 0.68 2.60 4.03 3.92
全磷 Total P (g/kg) 25.14 17.13 10.25 0.29 0.23 0.46 0.47 0.42
有效氮 Available N (mg/kg) 190.25 112.25 72.29 13.25 8.97 262.54 177.88 89.42
有效磷 Available P (mg/kg) 6.30 3.40 3.40 2.20 2.20 5.00 6.10 4.00

Fig. 2

Life form spectrum of the species in typical plant community of Form. Stipa krylovii. I, Semi-shrub and dwarf semi-shrub; II, Perennial grasses and sedges; III, Perennial forbs; IV, Annuals and biennials."

Fig. 3

Ecological type of water of the species in typical plant community of Form. Stipa krylovii. TX, Typical xerophytes; MX, Meso-xerophytes; WX, Wide xerophytes; XM, Xero-mesophytes; TM, Typical mesophytes."

Fig. 4

Floristic geographic distribution of the species in typical plant community of Form. Stipa krylovii.MA, Middle Asia element; EA, East Asia element; EPA, East Palaearctic element; CA-MA, Central Asia-Middle Asia element; PA, Palaearctic element; HA, Holarctic element."

Fig. 5

Domin’s cover class distribution of the species in typical plant community of Form. Stipa krylovii. a, Cover class 1 (0.1%); b, Cover class 2 (0.1-1%); c, Cover class 3 (1-4%); d, Cover class 4 (5-10%); e, Cover class 5 (11-25%)."

Table 2

Basic properties of typical plant community of Form. Thymus mongolicus"

主样地 Main plot 副样地 Auxiliary plot
0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-30 cm 30-40 cm 0-10 cm 10-20 cm 20-30 cm
pH 7.13 7.21 7.59 8.75 8.06 7.99 7.87
有机碳 Organic carbon (g/kg) 32.12 33.93 29.11 5.20 12.95 2.62 1.14
全氮 Total N (g/kg) 3.09 2.02 2.59 0.46 1.12 0.29 0.11
全磷 Total P (g/kg) 0.46 0.43 0.39 0.22 0.17 0.04 0.03
有效氮 Available N (mg/kg) 176.93 126.51 70.39 8.34 57.07 12.37 9.99
有效磷 Available P (mg/kg) 8.40 8.30 7.70 0.80 3.80 4.60 5.30

Fig. 6

Life form spectrum of the species in typical plant community of Form. Thymus mongolicus.I, Semi-shrub and dwarf semi-shrub; II, Perennial grass and sedge; III, Perennial forbs; IV, Annuals and biennials."

Fig. 7

Ecological type of water of the species in typical plant community of Form. Thymus mongolicus. TX, Typical xerophytes; MX, Meso-xerophytes; WX, Wide xerophytes; XM, Xero-mesophytes; TM, Typical mesophytes."

Fig. 8

Floristic geographic distribution of the species in typical plant community of Form. Thymus mongolicus. MA, Middle Asia element; EA, East Asia element; EPA, East Palaearctic element; CA-MA, Central Asia-Middle Asia element; PA, Palaearctic element; HA, Holarctic element."

Fig. 9

Domin’s cover class distribution of the species in typical plant community of Form. Thymus mongolicus.a, Cover class 1 (0.1%); b, Cover class 2 (0.1-1%); c, Cover class 3 (1-4%); d, Cover class 4 (5-10%); e, Cover class 5 (11-25%)."

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