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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 68; doi:10.3390/su8010068

Seed Burial Depth and Soil Water Content Affect Seedling Emergence and Growth of Ulmus pumila var. sabulosa in the Horqin Sandy Land

1
Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100048, China
3
Departamento de Agronomía-CERZOS (CONICET), Universidad Nacional del Sur, San Andrés 800, Bahía Blanca 8000, Argentina
4
Department of Resource and Environment, Henan Institute of Sciences and Technology, Xinxiang 450003, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giovanni de Feo
Received: 23 October 2015 / Revised: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
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Abstract

We investigated the effects of seed burial depth and soil water content on seedling emergence and growth of Ulmus pumila var. sabulosa (sandy elm), an important native tree species distributed over the European-Asian steppe. Experimental sand burial depths in the soil were 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 cm, and soil water contents were 4%, 8%, 12% and 16% of field capacity. All two-way ANOVA (five sand burial depths and four soil water contents) results showed that seed burial depths, soil water content and their interactions significantly affected all the studied plant variables. Most of the times, seedling emergence conditions were greater at the lower sand burial depths (less than 1.0 cm) than at the higher (more than 1.0 cm) seed burial depths, and at the lower water content (less than 12%) than at the higher soil water content. However, high seed burial depths (more than 1.5 cm) or low soil water content (less than 12%) reduced seedling growth or change in the root/shoot biomass ratios. In conclusion, the most suitable range of sand burial was from 0.5 to 1.0 cm soil depth and soil water content was about 12%, respectively, for the processes of seedling emergence and growth. These findings indicate that seeds of the sandy elm should be kept at rather shallow soil depths, and water should be added up to 12% of soil capacity when conducting elm planting and management. Our findings could help to create a more appropriate sandy elm cultivation and understand sparse elm woodland recruitment failures in arid and semi-arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: seed burial depth; sandy elm; seed germination; seedling emergence; soil water content seed burial depth; sandy elm; seed germination; seedling emergence; soil water content
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tang, J.; Busso, C.A.; Jiang, D.; Wang, Y.; Wu, D.; Musa, A.; Miao, R.; Miao, C. Seed Burial Depth and Soil Water Content Affect Seedling Emergence and Growth of Ulmus pumila var. sabulosa in the Horqin Sandy Land. Sustainability 2016, 8, 68.

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