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Article

Water Use Characteristics of Two Dominant Species in the Mega-Dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert

1
Key Laboratory of Eco-Hydrology of Inland River Basin, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carmen Teodosiu
Water 2022, 14(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010053
Received: 19 November 2021 / Revised: 20 December 2021 / Accepted: 22 December 2021 / Published: 28 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Hydrological Processes in Desert Regions)
The sparse natural vegetation develops special water use characteristics to adapt to inhospitable desert areas. The water use characteristics of such plants in desert areas are not yet completely understood. In this study, we compare the differences in water use characteristics between two dominant species of the Badain Jaran Desert mega-dunes—Zygophyllum xanthoxylum and Artemisia ordosica—by investigating δ2H and δ18O in plant xylem (the organization that transports water and inorganic salts in plant stems) and soil water, and δ13C in plant leaves. The results indicate that Z. xanthoxylum absorbed 86.5% of its water from soil layers below 90 cm during growing seasons, while A. ordosica derived 79.90% of its water from the 0–120 cm soil layers during growing seasons. Furthermore, the long-term leaf-level water use efficiency of A. ordosica (123.17 ± 2.13 μmol/mol) was higher than that of Z. xanthoxylum (97.36 ± 1.16 μmol/mol). The differences in water use between the two studied species were mainly found to relate to their root distribution characteristics. A better understanding of the water use characteristics of plants in desert habitats can provide a theoretical basis to assist in the selection of species for artificial vegetation restoration in arid areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: water sources; water use efficiency; stable isotopes; Iso-source model water sources; water use efficiency; stable isotopes; Iso-source model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qin, J.; Si, J.; Jia, B.; Zhao, C.; Zhou, D.; He, X.; Wang, C.; Zhu, X. Water Use Characteristics of Two Dominant Species in the Mega-Dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert. Water 2022, 14, 53. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010053

AMA Style

Qin J, Si J, Jia B, Zhao C, Zhou D, He X, Wang C, Zhu X. Water Use Characteristics of Two Dominant Species in the Mega-Dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert. Water. 2022; 14(1):53. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010053

Chicago/Turabian Style

Qin, Jie, Jianhua Si, Bing Jia, Chunyan Zhao, Dongmeng Zhou, Xiaohui He, Chunlin Wang, and Xinglin Zhu. 2022. "Water Use Characteristics of Two Dominant Species in the Mega-Dunes of the Badain Jaran Desert" Water 14, no. 1: 53. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010053

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