J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1996, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

A Modeling Study on Responses of Alkaline Grassland Ecosystems to Climate Change in Light of Diversity and Spatial Patterns

Gao Qiong, Li Jian-dong and Zheng Hui-ying   

Abstract: Temporal variations of spatial coverage patterns of major plant species in the alkaline grasslands in northeast China subject to climate change were studied using a spatial simulation model. The model stressed the coupling between soil alkali and vegetation coverage. The modeled species coverage patterns were shown in close agreement with observations on a fenced one-hectare alkaline grassland from 1989 to 1993. The impacts of climate change on the species coverage were studied by subtracting the output patterns of the model under contemporary climate from those under altered climate. To relate the difference patterns to various landscape indices, the one-hectare region was divided into 25 subregions. The differencein species coverage between the present and altered climate and spatial pattern and diversity indices were computed for each subregion. A statistical analysis showed that for plants with wide ranges of tolerance to soil alkali and strong spatial migration capability, the impact of climate change was significantly related to spatial patterns, but not to diversity. However, for plants with narrow ranges of tolerance to soil alkali and less capability to migrate spatially, the impact of climate change was related to both diversity and spatial patterns.

Key words: Alkaline grasslands, Climate change, Diversity, Spatial patterns

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