[Experimental] List of manuscripts available for review volunteers
3 manuscripts available for review volunteers
November 16, 2017
Elevated ozone (O3) concentration in the tropospheric atmosphere has profoundly influenced forest ecosystems, but the decomposition characteristics of forest litters under O3 exposureare still less known. By using open-top cambers (OTCs) simulation, 5-year-old Ginkgo biloba was used to investigate the impact of elevated O3 (120 ppb) on chemical composition and decomposition rate of leaf litters of the urban tree. The results showed that compared with the ambient air, elevated O3 significantly improved N and K contents in the litters, reduced the contents of total phenols, condensed tannins and soluble sugars. Furthermore, elevated O3 significantly decreased the residual rate of dry weight by 11.9% of G. biloba litters (P<0.05). The nutrient components of foliar litter of G. biloba showed net release during decomposition regardless of O3 treatment. We found that elevated O3 accelerated the litter decomposition, as is mainly related to strong oxidation of elevated O3 concentration.
October 21, 2017
Seed germination plays an important role in determining the composition and regeneration of plant populations. However, the influencing factors and strategies employed for seed germination in desert grasslands under grazing remain unknown. Therefore, in this study, the reproductive allocation, seed density, seed properties, and the corresponding seed germination rates were examined within a dominant population in a desert grassland. Possible situations encountered during dispersal were also simulated for their effects on seed germination. The results showed that reproductive individuals not subjected to grazing were significantly more abundant than those under moderate and heavy grazing. The highest seed density and soil seed bank occurred under no grazing, followed by moderate grazing and then heavy grazing. The number of seed germination in soil seed bank was basically 1/4 of the number of seeds. Grazing treatments affected the phenotypic characteristics of seeds and reduced the lower limit of the weight of germinable seeds. Awn removal dramatically increased germination. The longest germination time was for seeds that entered the soil at an angle of 0°. For the angle of seeds entering soil and the days of germination, the fitting relationship can be described by y = ax2 + bx + c. Our research demonstrated that grazing negatively affected grassland vegetation. Individual plant adopted different adaptation strategies under grazing of different intensities; for example, a fixed proportion of the seed number and seed germination number of S. breviflora in the soil seed bank was maintained by exceeding the lower limit for seed germination. In the process of seed dispersion, the awn effectively avoided germination under unfavourable conditions and helped seeds enter the soil at a optimal angle to promote germination.
October 18, 2017
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to promote plant growth and nutrient uptake, but the role of AM fungi play in nitrogen (N) uptake is still unclear. Therefore, a pot experiment was conducted to assess the effects of N addition (0 and 200 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and AM inoculation (Diversispora eburnea, Claroideoglomus etunicatum, Paraglomus occultum, 1:1:1 mixture of each AM fungal species and a non-mycorrhizal control) on AM root colonization, plant growth, N and P nutrition. Our results showed that AM root colonization was unaffected by N addition, but was significantly affected by different AM fungal species. D. eburnea and C. etunicatum showed a significant higher root colonization than P. occultum. Plant biomass, N and P content was significantly enhanced by N addition when inoculated with D. eburnea and AM mixture, but unaffected by N addition when inoculated with C. etunicatum and P. occultum. On the other hand, inoculation with different AM fungal species resulted in different plant response. For instance, inoculation with D. eburnea and AM mixture contributed substantially to plant biomass, N and P nutrition. Whereas, inoculation with C. etunicatum and P. occultum did not significantly enhance plant biomass, N and P content regardless of N addition. In conclusion, these results indicated that the plant response to N addition depends on AM fungal species, and emphasized that significant functional diversity exists among AM fungal species.

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