Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (3): 21280.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021280

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial distribution and interspecific correlation of Haloxylon persicum and H. ammodendron on fixed dunes of the Gurbantunggut Desert, China

Yating Wang1, Dinghai Zhang1,*(), Zhishan Zhang2   

  1. 1 Center for Quantitative Biology, College of Science, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070
    2 Shapotou Desert Research and Experimental Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000
  • Received:2021-07-13 Accepted:2021-11-04 Online:2022-04-07 Published:2022-01-30
  • Contact: Dinghai Zhang


Aims The aim of this study is to explore the coexistence and succession mechanism of sand-fixing shrubs population in the desert.

Methods Based on the current literature on the geographical location and developmental stages (young, nutrition, reproductive and dead plant) of Haloxylon persicum and H. ammodendron populations on fixed dunes in the southeastern edge of the Gurbantunggut Desert, this paper adopted the methods of point pattern analysis g(r) function, Monte-Carlo random simulation test, and zero model selection. The spatial distribution pattern and interspecific correlation of H. persicum and H. ammodendron populations at different developmental stages in the scale of 0-20 m were analyzed.

Results (1) The two populations demonstrated aggregated distribution in the range of the study scale, and the aggregation intensity decreased as the scale increased. (2) There is a negative correlation between the two populations, and the larger the scale, the more significant the negative correlation. (3) The greater the difference between developmental stages of H. persicum population, the more significant the positive correlation amongst individuals, and the closer the developmental stages of H. ammodendron population, the more significant the positive correlation amongst individuals. (4) The older individuals in the two populations (e.g., the stages of nutrition, reproductive and dead plant) could inhibit growth of the smaller young plants in the other populations. At the same time, with the development of individuals in both populations, the inhibition in both species gradually weakened, exhibiting both positive correlation and non-correlation.

Conclusion The distribution pattern of H. persicumand H. ammodendron population in fixed dunes of the Gurbantunggut Desert has an aggregated distribution. As the age class of each population increases, the aggregate distribution weakens. Habitat heterogeneity and diffusion are the two main factors. There is a negatively correlated interspecific relationship between both species, and the intraspecific developmental stages are positively correlated.

Key words: the Gurbantunggut Desert, sand-fixing shrubs, g(r) function, spatial distribution pattern, intraspecific and interspecific spatial association