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Acta Prataculturae Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 16-25.DOI: 10.11686/cyxb2022029

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Analysis of grassland community-level plant functional traits and functional diversity at different times during restoration

Jiang-wen LI1,2(), Bang-yin HE1, Cai LI1, Hong-yan HUI1,2, Bo LIU1,2, Xiao-xi ZHANG1,2, Hui FAN1, Wen-yu SU1   

  1. 1.College of Life Sciences,Yan’an University,Yan’an 716100,China
    2.Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Chinese Jujube,Yan’an University,Yan’an 716100,China
  • Received:2022-01-22 Revised:2022-04-18 Online:2023-01-20 Published:2022-11-07
  • Contact: Jiang-wen LI


Plant functional traits and functional diversity are important factors when evaluating the function of grassland ecosystems. In this study, we conducted a series of analyses of the understory grassland of Robinia pseudoacacia forests and abandoned grassland at different time points during restoration in the hilly and gully regions of the Loess Plateau. The community-level dynamics of plant functional traits and functional diversity were analyzed during vegetation restoration to explore how the grassland plant community and its functional traits change over time. The results showed that: 1) The understory grassland and abandoned grassland were both dominated by perennial weeds in the Asteraceae and Rosaceae; 2) During restoration, the understory grassland succeeded from a dicot-dominated community to a monocot-dominated community, while Asteraceae species were gradually replaced by Poaceae species. The abandoned grassland was always dominated by Asteraceae species, however, and showed a tendency to shrub encroachment. 3) The values of community-level leaf functional traits were higher in understory grassland than in abandoned grassland, while the values of community-level plant functional traits of coverage, density, and aboveground biomass were lower in understory grassland than in abandoned grassland. The values of species diversity and functional trait diversity were higher in abandoned grassland than in understory grassland, and abandoned grassland exhibited higher ecological benefits. These results provide a theoretical basis for the evaluation of grassland ecosystem functions in the hill and gully region of the Loess Plateau.

Key words: Loess Plateau, restoration grassland, community-level traits, functional diversity, species composition