Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2015, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (1): 101-112.doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1156-0

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Distribution of plant species and species-soil relationship in the east central Gurbantunggut Desert, China

Ping AN1(), Xiangjun LI2, Yuanrun ZHENG3, A. Egrinya ENEJI4, Yunus QIMAN5, Mingqing ZHENG1, Shinobu INANAGA6   

  1. 1. Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University, Tottori 680-0001, Japan
    2. Hebei Academy of Forestry Science, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
    3. Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, CAS, Beijing 100093, China
    4. Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management, University of Calabar, Nigeria
    5. College of Horticulture, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi 830052, China
    6. Institute of Technologists, 333, Maetani, Gyouda-shi, Saitama 361-0038, Japan
  • Received:2013-03-28 Accepted:2014-02-26 Online:2015-01-15 Published:2015-01-15
  • About author:

    Author: An Ping, Associate Professor,


The distribution of plant species and relationships between species and soil factors in the east central part of Gurbantunggut Desert was studied to provide more insight into the flora and determine differences in vegetation across various parts of the desert. Two-way Cluster Analysis showed that the vegetation in the area could be divided into three groups, the first group was dominated by the shrub species, Ephedra przewalskii and the grass species, Carex physodes mainly in areas of flat grounds and gentle slopes; the second group was dominated by C. physodes, Artemisia songorica and A. xerophytica mainly on the slope of sand dunes and the third group was dominated by the shrub species, Haloxylon persicum mainly on the top of sand dunes. There was no difference in plant density between Groups 1 and 2 but there was a significant decrease in Group 3. Soil water under vegetation Group 3 was much lower than that in the other two groups at all soil depths. The EC, organic matter, total P and soluble Na, Ca and Mg varied very similarly with soil water. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) satisfactorily assessed the species-soil relations in the area. The distribution of plant species was strongly correlated with the soil factors of water content, organic matter, EC and nutrients. The variations in species occurrence explained by the three CCA axes were about 70%, indicating that some explanatory site variables may exist outside our studied parameters. Soil texture is suggested to be included in future studies to improve the explanation of CCA.

Key words: distribution, plant species, soil, Gurbantunggut Desert, China