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Forests 2018, 9(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030123

Plant Water Use Strategy in Response to Spatial and Temporal Variation in Precipitation Patterns in China: A Stable Isotope Analysis

1,2
and
1,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotope Application in Forest Growth Assessment)
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Abstract

Spatial and temporal variation in precipitation patterns can directly alter the survival and growth of plants, yet in China there is no comprehensive and systematic strategy for plant use based on the effects of precipitation patterns. Here, we examined information from 93 published papers (368 plant species) on plant xylem water stable isotopes (δD and δ18O) in China. The results showed that: (1) The slope of the local meteoric water line (LMWL) gradually increased from inland areas to the coast, as a result of continental and seasonal effects. The correlation between δD and δ18O in plant stem water is also well fitted and the correlation coefficients range from 0.78 to 0.89. With respect to the soil water line, the δ18O values in relation to depth (0–100 cm) varied over time; (2) Plants’ main water sources are largely affected by precipitation patterns. In general, plants prioritize the use of stable and continuous water sources, while they have a more variable water uptake strategy under drought conditions; (3) There are no spatial and temporal variations in the contribution of the main water source (p > 0.05) because plants maintain growth by shifting their use of water sources when resources are unreliable. View Full-Text
Keywords: stable isotope; local meteoric water line (LMWL); plant main water source (PMWS); contribution of plant main water source (CPMWS); China stable isotope; local meteoric water line (LMWL); plant main water source (PMWS); contribution of plant main water source (CPMWS); China
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Zhao, Y.; Wang, L. Plant Water Use Strategy in Response to Spatial and Temporal Variation in Precipitation Patterns in China: A Stable Isotope Analysis. Forests 2018, 9, 123.

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