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Cutting improves the productivity of lucerne-rich stands used in the revegetation of degraded arable land in a semi-arid environment.

Yuan ZQ, Yu KL, Wang BX, Zhang WY, Zhang XL, Siddique KH, Stefanova K, Turner NC, Li FM - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Cutting significantly affected revegetation characteristics, such as aboveground biomass, plant density and diversity.Long-term cutting can cause self-thinning in lucerne, maintain the stability of lucerne production and slow its degradation.For effective management of lucerne fields, phosphate fertilizer should be applied and cutting performed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystem, Institute of Arid AgroEcology, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China.

ABSTRACT
Understanding the relationships between vegetative and environmental variables is important for revegetation and ecosystem management on the Loess Plateau, China. Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) has been widely used in the region to improve revegetation, soil and water conservation, and to enhance livestock production. However, there is little information on how environmental factors influence long-term succession in lucerne-rich vegetation. Our objective was to identify the main environmental variables controlling the succession process in lucerne-rich vegetation such that native species are not suppressed after sowing on the Loess Plateau. Vegetation and soil surveys were performed in 31 lucerne fields (three lucerne fields without any management from 2003-2013 and 28 fields containing 11-year-old lucerne with one cutting each year). Time after planting was the most important factor affecting plant species succession. Cutting significantly affected revegetation characteristics, such as aboveground biomass, plant density and diversity. Soil moisture content, soil organic carbon, soil available phosphorus and slope aspect were key environmental factors affecting plant species composition and aboveground biomass, density and diversity. Long-term cutting can cause self-thinning in lucerne, maintain the stability of lucerne production and slow its degradation. For effective management of lucerne fields, phosphate fertilizer should be applied and cutting performed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Ordination diagram showing the results of redundancy analysis of vegetation variables (aboveground biomass, density and diversity) and key experimental factors.For Time, AP, SMC and SOC see Fig. 1.
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f2: Ordination diagram showing the results of redundancy analysis of vegetation variables (aboveground biomass, density and diversity) and key experimental factors.For Time, AP, SMC and SOC see Fig. 1.

Mentions: The eigenvalues for all canonical axes and for the first axis of the RDA were significant (Table 3). Experimental factors explained >49% of the variation in vegetation data (Table 3). Cutting, soil organic C, time after planting, soil available P and soil moisture content significantly explained the variation in vegetation variables (Table 4). The key environmental factors for vegetation variables were similar to those affecting species distribution, but their contributions differed (Tables 2 and 4). The ordination diagram of key environmental factors and vegetation variables showed that time after planting and cutting were the dominant environmental variables correlated with the first RDA axis; and soil moisture content, soil available P and soil organic C were the dominant environmental variables correlated with the second axis (Fig. 2).


Cutting improves the productivity of lucerne-rich stands used in the revegetation of degraded arable land in a semi-arid environment.

Yuan ZQ, Yu KL, Wang BX, Zhang WY, Zhang XL, Siddique KH, Stefanova K, Turner NC, Li FM - Sci Rep (2015)

Ordination diagram showing the results of redundancy analysis of vegetation variables (aboveground biomass, density and diversity) and key experimental factors.For Time, AP, SMC and SOC see Fig. 1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4499809&req=5

f2: Ordination diagram showing the results of redundancy analysis of vegetation variables (aboveground biomass, density and diversity) and key experimental factors.For Time, AP, SMC and SOC see Fig. 1.
Mentions: The eigenvalues for all canonical axes and for the first axis of the RDA were significant (Table 3). Experimental factors explained >49% of the variation in vegetation data (Table 3). Cutting, soil organic C, time after planting, soil available P and soil moisture content significantly explained the variation in vegetation variables (Table 4). The key environmental factors for vegetation variables were similar to those affecting species distribution, but their contributions differed (Tables 2 and 4). The ordination diagram of key environmental factors and vegetation variables showed that time after planting and cutting were the dominant environmental variables correlated with the first RDA axis; and soil moisture content, soil available P and soil organic C were the dominant environmental variables correlated with the second axis (Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: Cutting significantly affected revegetation characteristics, such as aboveground biomass, plant density and diversity.Long-term cutting can cause self-thinning in lucerne, maintain the stability of lucerne production and slow its degradation.For effective management of lucerne fields, phosphate fertilizer should be applied and cutting performed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystem, Institute of Arid AgroEcology, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China.

ABSTRACT
Understanding the relationships between vegetative and environmental variables is important for revegetation and ecosystem management on the Loess Plateau, China. Lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) has been widely used in the region to improve revegetation, soil and water conservation, and to enhance livestock production. However, there is little information on how environmental factors influence long-term succession in lucerne-rich vegetation. Our objective was to identify the main environmental variables controlling the succession process in lucerne-rich vegetation such that native species are not suppressed after sowing on the Loess Plateau. Vegetation and soil surveys were performed in 31 lucerne fields (three lucerne fields without any management from 2003-2013 and 28 fields containing 11-year-old lucerne with one cutting each year). Time after planting was the most important factor affecting plant species succession. Cutting significantly affected revegetation characteristics, such as aboveground biomass, plant density and diversity. Soil moisture content, soil organic carbon, soil available phosphorus and slope aspect were key environmental factors affecting plant species composition and aboveground biomass, density and diversity. Long-term cutting can cause self-thinning in lucerne, maintain the stability of lucerne production and slow its degradation. For effective management of lucerne fields, phosphate fertilizer should be applied and cutting performed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus