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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 7, issue 2
Solid Earth, 7, 631–637, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-7-631-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Solid Earth, 7, 631–637, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-7-631-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 19 Apr 2016

Research article | 19 Apr 2016

The effects of grazing on the spatial pattern of elm (Ulmus pumila L.) in the sparse woodland steppe of Horqin Sandy Land in northeastern China

M. Zhang1,*, J. Wu1,*, and Y. Tang1 M. Zhang et al.
  • 1School of Life Sciences, Liaoning University, Shenyang, China
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of grazing on the formation of the spatial pattern of elm growth in a sparse woodland steppe. We used a point pattern method to analyze the elm trees within different diameter at breast height (DBH) classes in both grazed and fenced plots, which were established in Horqin Sandy Land of northeastern China. The results showed that, in the grazed plot, the distances where transformation between random and clustered patterns occurred in class 1 (10 cm  ≤  DBH  ≤  15 cm) and class 2 (15 cm  <  DBH  ≤  20 cm) were 2.27 and 2.37 m, respectively. Meanwhile, in the fenced plot, the distances between random and aggregated patterns that occurred in classes 1, 2 and 3 (DBH > 20 cm) were 3.13, 3.13 and 7.85 m, respectively. In the fenced plot, at distances larger than 67.72 m there was a negative association between classes 1 and 2, which was also the case between classes 2 and 3 and between classes 1 and 3 for distances greater than 104.09 and 128.54 m, respectively. Meanwhile, negative associations occurred only at distances larger than 29.38 m in the grazed plot. These findings suggest that grazing reduced the competition intensity between elm trees; and therefore, grazing management could be an effective strategy used to regulate the elm population in the degraded sandy land of northern China.

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The aim was to explore the effects of grazing on the formation of the spatial pattern of elm growth in a sparse woodland steppe. A point pattern method was used to analyze elm trees within different diameter classes in both grazed and fenced plots, located in Horqin Sandy Land, China. Effects of grazing on the formation of the spatial pattern of elm were not reported. This study is helpful for understanding the formation of the spatial pattern of the elm population in sparse woodland steppes.
The aim was to explore the effects of grazing on the formation of the spatial pattern of elm...
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