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3 September 2019 Community Stability was Maintained by Divergent Mechanisms in Arid Desert Ecosystem
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Abstract

More attention has been paid to the effects of diversity and dominance on community temporal stability rather than spatial stability in the main biome globally. Moreover, the maintenance mechanisms underlying the stability patterns of plant communities dominated by different plants in the Gobi Desert remain unknown. This article addresses the maintenance mechanism of plant community stability dominated by different plants in the Gobi Desert northwest of China. Four communities dominated by Sympegma regelii, Reaumuria songarica, Nitraria sphaerocarpa, and Gymnocarpos przewalskii, respectively, were selected in the national nature reserve, and a total of 240 quadrats, 20 × 20 m each, were established in the four communities. The correlations among species richness, species evenness, species diversity, community stability, and the biomass of dominant species were analyzed by linear regression model and structural equation model. The dominant species determined positively and directly the stability of the N. sphaerocarpa community, while diversity acted negatively in the maintenance of G. przewalskii community stability. However, species richness contributed mainly and positively to the maintenance of stability in the S. regelii community. Direct and negative effect of species richness and positive function of diversity were found in the maintenance of stability in the R. songarica community. Taken together, community stability is maintained by the divergent mechanisms in arid environment, which depends on the dominant species and diversity. The study could provide reference for the management of communities in the arid desert regions.

© 2019 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wenliang He, Lilong Wang, Liang Wang, Lizhe An, and Shijian Xu "Community Stability was Maintained by Divergent Mechanisms in Arid Desert Ecosystem," Rangeland Ecology and Management 72(5), 742-748, (3 September 2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2019.05.003
Received: 28 July 2018; Accepted: 10 May 2019; Published: 3 September 2019
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