Artificially Accelerating the Reversal of Desertification: Cyanobacterial Inoculation Facilitates the Succession of Vegetation Communities

Shubin Lan, Qingyi Zhang, Li Wu, Yongding Liu, Delu Zhang, Chunxiang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Desertification has been recognized as a global environmental problem, and one region experiencing ongoing desertification is the eastern edge of Qubqi Desert (Inner Mongolia). To investigate the facilitating effects of cyanobacterial inoculation technology on the desertification control along this steppe-desert transition region, artificial cyanobacterial crusts were constructed with two filamentous cyanobacteria 3 and 8 years ago combined with Salix planting. The results showed that no crusts formed after 3 years of fixation only with Salix planting, whereas after cyanobacterial inoculation, the crusts formed quickly and gradually succeed to moss crusts. During that course, topsoil environments were gradually improved, providing the necessary material basis for the regeneration of vascular plants. In this investigation, total 27 species of vascular plants had regenerated in the experimental region, mainly belonging to Asteraceae, Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Leguminosae. Using space time substitution, the dominant species along with the application of cyanobacterial inoculation technology succeeded from Agriophyllum squarrosum ultimately to Leymus chinensis. In addition, it was found that the shady side of the dunes is more conducive to crust development and succession of vegetation communities. Conclusively, our results indicate artificial cyanobacterial inoculation technology is an effective and desirable path for desertification control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Early online date04 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Artificially Accelerating the Reversal of Desertification: Cyanobacterial Inoculation Facilitates the Succession of Vegetation Communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this