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Title: Phylogenetic structure and formation mechanism of shrub communities in arid and semiarid areas of the Mongolian Plateau
Authors : Zheng, Ying
Dong, Lei
Li, Zhiyong
Zhang, Jing Hui
Li, Zijing
Miao, Bailing
Jia, Chengzhen
Liang, Cunzhu
Wang, Lixin
Li, Frank Yonghong
et. al : No
Published in : Ecology and Evolution
Volume(Issue) : 9
Issue : 23
Pages : 13320
Pages to: 13331
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Wiley
Issue Date: 2019
License (according to publishing contract) : CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Language : English
Subjects : Cold limit; Desert shrub; Paleoclimate; Phylogenetic overdispersion; Species coexistence
Subject (DDC) : 577: Ecology
580: Plants (Botany)
Abstract: The mechanisms of species coexistence within a community have always been the focus in ecological research. Community phylogenetic structure reflects the relationship of historical processes, regional environments, and interactions between species, and studying it is imperative to understand the formation and maintenance mechanisms of community composition and biodiversity. We studied the phylogenetic structure of the shrub communities in arid and semiarid areas of the Mongolian Plateau. First, the phylogenetic signals of four plant traits (height, canopy, leaf length, and leaf width) of shrubs and subshrubs were measured to determine the phylogenetic conservation of these traits. Then, the net relatedness index (NRI) of shrub communities was calculated to characterize their phylogenetic structure. Finally, the relationship between the NRI and current climate and paleoclimate (since the Last Glacial Maximum, LGM) factors was analyzed to understand the formation and maintenance mechanisms of these plant communities. We found that desert shrub communities showed a trend toward phylogenetic overdispersion; that is, limiting similarity was predominant in arid and semiarid areas of the Mongolian Plateau despite the phylogenetic structure and formation mechanisms differing across habitats. The typical desert and sandy shrub communities showed a significant phylogenetic overdispersion, while the steppified desert shrub communities showed a weak phylogenetic clustering. It was found that mean winter temperature (i.e., in the driest quarter) was the major factor limiting steppified desert shrub phylogeny distribution. Both cold and drought (despite having opposite consequences) differentiated the typical desert to steppified desert shrub communities. The increase in temperature since the LGM is conducive to the invasion of shrub plants into steppe grassland, and this process may be intensified by global warming.
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Publication type: Article in scientific journal
DOI : 10.1002/ece3.5787
ISSN: 2045-7758
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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