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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Jan 2015, 36 (1)                                                                                                             Back

nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Role of nurse shrubs for restoration planting of two conifers in southeast of Mu Us Sandland, China 



Li Tian1,2 and Xiaoan Wang1*

1College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, Shaanxi-710 062, China

2College of Life Sciences, Yulin University, Yulin, Shaanxi-719 000, China

*Corresponding Author E-mail:






Publication Data

Paper received:

29 September 2014


Revised received:

26 November 2014



03 December 2014



Two-year-old pine seedlings, Pinus tabulaeformis and Pinus sylvestris were planted under the canopies of three shrub species and in open areas to test for facilitation during seedling establishment in southeast of Mu Us Sandland in northern part of Shaanxi, China. Pine seedlings establishment were assessed three times within three consecutive growing seasons. Height, area and volume of shrubs were measured. Microclimate conditions (light intensity, air temperature and soil temperature and moisture) were recorded in four microhabitats. Near surface light intensity, air temperature and soil temperature were lower under shrubs, which led to higher soil moisture and pine seedlings under the canopy of shrub species. Pine seedlings survival was remarkably higher when planted under the canopy of shrub species (65.7% for P. tabulaeformis and 60.6% for P. sylvestris) as compared with open areas (22.4% for P. tabulaeformis and 38% for P. sylvestris). P. tabulaeformis with shade-tolerance trait expressed high survival of seedlings as compared to that of P. sylvestris seedlings under the canopy of shrub species (Tukey test, P0.05). Leguminous shrub (Caragana korshinskii and Amorpha fruticosa) showed continuously facilitation during moderate drought stress (summer 2012, 2013 and 2014), but dense and small shrub (Caragana korshinskii) reduced the establishment of seedlings possibly for light competition. Salix cheilophila showed a facilitation effect in growing seasons, but the effect of allelopathy led to high mortality of seedlings under their canopy. In addition, two pine growths were not inhibited when planted under three shrubs. In conclusions, nurse-shrub facilitation can be used as an effective restoration strategy in this sandland. However, use of shrubs as nurse plants depends on their canopy structure and ecological impacts; the selection of target species depends on their shade tolerance traits.   


 Key words

Facilitation, Mu Us Sandland, Nurse shrub, Pine, Restoration 




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