J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (2): 131-138.DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtaa002

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Changes in vegetation and soil properties following 6 years of enclosure in riparian corridors

Di Wang1,2,3, Yi-Ran Zhang3, Yu-Long Feng2,4,*, Zhi Liu3 and Bo Qu2,4,*   

  1. 1College of Plant protection, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110016, Liaoning Province, China, 2Liaoning Key Laboratory for Biological Invasions and Global Changes, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110016, Liaoning Province, China, 3Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory for Urban Ecology, Shenyang Academy of Environmental Sciences, Shenyang 110016, Liaoning Province, China, 4College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110016, Liaoning Province, China

    *Corresponding authors. E-mail: yl_feng@tom.com (Y.-L.F.); syau_qb@163.com (B.Q.)
  • Received:2019-08-21 Revised:2020-01-09 Accepted:2020-01-17 Online:2020-03-06 Published:2020-04-01

Abstract:

Aims

Riparian corridors play vital roles in the maintenance of biodiversity. Nonetheless, plant species diversity and vegetation coverage in riparian corridors are seriously threatened by increasing pressure owing to livestock consumption and anthropogenic disturbance; even the stability of river courses has been threatened. The establishment of enclosures is a widely used strategy to restore degraded grassland ecosystems, but its impact on degraded herbaceous riparian vegetation and soil properties remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether species composition, richness, diversity, and soil properties can be recovered by the enclosure.

Methods

Twenty long-term monitoring sample plots were set in the Liaohe main stream river, Liaohe main stream river was enclosed for grazing and farmland exclusion in 2012. The height, coverage and individual numbers of plant were recorded for species richness and diversity evaluation from 2012 to 2017; soil nutrients were measured for comparative analysis in 2012 and 2017. We examined the effects of the establishment of enclosures on plant species diversity and soil properties from 2012 to 2017 in the riparian corridors of the Liaohe River system in China.

Important Findings

Plant species richness and diversity significantly increased from 2012 to 2017. The dominance of Asteraceae plants increased, while the abundance of Gramineae plants decreased over time. The difference in abundance increased each year since enclosure was implemented in 2012. The concentrations of phosphorus and potassium in the soil significantly decreased as a result of the combined effects of vegetation restoration and prohibition of farming practices following the establishment of enclosures. There was also a lag time related to the response of soil organic matter to the establishment of enclosures. In conclusion, our study provides new evidence regarding the response of species diversity, species composition and soil properties following riparian vegetation restoration efforts through enclosure development.

Key words: herbaceous vegetation, dominant species composition, species diversity, Liaohe river riparian corridors, soil properties, ecological restoration

摘要:
河岸带是维持生物多样性的重要生态系统之一。然而,由于过度放牧引起的植被消耗和过度开垦等人类活动的干扰,河岸带植被多样性和植被盖度受到严重的破坏,甚至威胁了河道的稳定性。围栏封育在退化草地生态系统修复中被广泛应用,但对退化河岸带植被群落和土壤性质的影响尚不明确。本研究的目的旨在明确围封的实施是否会促进河岸带植被群落的物种组成、物种丰富度和物种多样性恢复,土壤氧分如何随围封年限的增加而变化。辽河干流自2012年起被围栏封育管理,本研究在辽河干流河岸带沿岸设置了20个草本群落长期观测样地,记录了2012–2017年样地中植被高度、盖度和个体数量等参数用于物种丰富度和物种多样性的统计分析。同时,分别测定了2012年和2017年植被群落土壤氧分含量,验证了植被群落和土壤氧分对围封的反馈,研究了2012–2017年辽河干流河岸带的围栏封育对物种多样性和土壤氧分的影响。结果表明,随着围封年限的增加,辽河干流河岸带草本群落植被丰富度和多样性显著增加。物种组成方面,菊科植物的优势度显著增加,禾本科植物优势度显著下降。围封后植被群落的恢复和禁止耕作,加速了土壤中磷和钾的消耗,表现为显著降低,土壤有机质含量对围封的响应表现的相对滞后,并没有显著变化。综上所述,本研究为河岸带植被群落物种多样性、物种组成对围封的响应提供了新的见解。

关键词: 草本植被, 优势种组成, 物种多样性, 辽河河岸带, 土壤性质, 生态恢复