Sand burial compensates for the negative effects of erosion on the dune-building shrub Artemisia wudanica

Bo Liu, Zhimin Liu*, Xiaotao Lü, Fernando T. Maestre, Lixin Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Aims: Plant species response to erosion or burial has been extensively studied, but few studies have examined the combined effects of erosion and subsequent burial on plants. In active sand dunes of northern China, Artemisia wudanica falls to the ground following wind erosion, accumulating sand among fallen stems in a process that may facilitate its further growth and development. Therefore, we hypothesize that subsequent sand burial might compensate for the negative effects of erosion in the growth of A. wudanica. Methods: A common garden experiment was conducted using A. wudanica seedlings to evaluate their growth in response to different degrees of burial and erosion as observed at the field. Seedlings were selected and randomly assigned to six erosion treatments, two burial treatments, twelve erosion and subsequent burial treatments, and control. Each treatment was replicated six times. Results: Compared with the control treatment, total biomass and the relative growth rate of shoots were stimulated in the erosion and subsequent burial treatments (significantly under the 10 cm burial), hampered in erosion only treatments, and were not affected in the burial only treatments. Adventitious roots and ramets were only observed under burial only and erosion and subsequent burial treatments. Conclusions: Our results indicate that subsequent sand burial following erosion compensate for the negative effects of erosion on the growth of A. wudanica seedlings, and greatly contributed to their tolerance to wind erosion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-273
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Drylands
  • Intra-specific facilitation
  • Multiple disturbances
  • Sand dune
  • Vegetative reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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