J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (2): 144-149.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00426.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Growth Rings of Roots in Perennial Forbs in Duolun Grassland, Inner Mongolia, China

Yong-Bo Liu and Qi-Bin Zhang   

  • Published:2007-02-01

Abstract: Annual growth rings of roots in perennial forbs have been used in studies of climate change and the ecology of grasslands. However, little has been done in this aspect of research in China. In this study, we report the characteristics of growth rings in the main roots of 13 herb species sampled in Duolun of the Inner Mongolia grassland in northern China. The results show that around two thirds of the species possess clearly demarcated annual rings in the root xylem. Some species of the same genera show different patterns in anatomical structure of the root xylem. Standardized annual ring widths of three species, Potentilla anserine L., Cymbaria dahurica L. and Lespedeza daurica (Laxm.) Schindl., show a common linear trend, indicating a continued favorable growth condition in the sampling sites. Our results provide evidence that growth rings in roots of some perennial forbs in the Inner Mongolia grassland can serve as a new and useful indicator of past changes in the grassland environment.

Key words: China, growth ring, herb-chronology, perennial forbs.

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