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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 120186, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/120186
Research Article

The Responses of the Quantitative Characteristics of a Ramet Population of the Ephemeroid Rhizomatous Sedge Carex physodes to the Moisture Content of the Soil in Various Locations on Sand Dunes

1Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresource in Arid Land, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3Turpan Eremophytes Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Turpan 838008, China
4Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Received 18 March 2014; Accepted 26 May 2014; Published 19 June 2014

Academic Editor: Thierry Simonneau

Copyright © 2014 Buhailiqiemu Abudureheman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In this study, the soil moisture content was measured, and the quantitative characteristics of this sedge species were compared. The phenotypic plasticity of each parameter and the linear regression relationships were analyzed. The results showed that the soil moisture content was significantly affected by location, soil depth, and sampling date. The aboveground biomass, underground biomass, biomass density, and population density at the peak were significantly higher than elsewhere on the dune. However, the morphological plasticity index of the quantitative characteristics was higher at the base and middle of the dune. When the soil moisture content decreased, the underground biomass and ramet biomass density increased. The aboveground and underground biomasses were strongly negatively correlated, but the ramet height and aboveground biomass were strongly positively correlated. These results indicated that the soil water content significantly affected the clonal growth of C. physodes. The responsiveness of C. physodes may be adaptive when the soil resource supply is low. The strong morphological plasticity of the species appears to be ecologically important for the maintenance and dominance of this species in the dune habitat.