摘要：Drought is one of the most significant natural disasters in the arid and semi-arid areas of China. Populations or plant organs often differ in their responses to drought and other adversities at different growth stages. At present, little is known about the size- and leaf age-dependent differences in the mechanisms of shrub-related drought resistance in the deserts of China. Here, we evaluated the photosynthetic and physiological responses of Artemisia ordosica Krasch. to drought stress using a field experiment in Mu Us Sandy Land, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China in 2018. Rainfall was manipulated by installing outdoor shelters, with four rainfall treatments applied to 12 plots (5 m×5 m). There were four rainfall levels, including a control and rainfall reductions of 30%, 50% and 70%, each with three replications. Taking individual crown size as the dividing basis, we measured the responses of A. ordosica photosynthetic and physiological responses to drought at different growth stages, i.e., large-sized (>0.5 m2) and small-sized (≤0.5 m2) plants. The leaves of A. ordosica were divided into old leaves and young leaves for separate measurement. Results showed that: (1) under drought stress, the transfer efficiency of light energy captured by antenna pigments to the photosystem II (PSII) reaction center decreased, and the heat dissipation capacity increased simultaneously. To resist the photosynthetic system damage caused by drought, A. ordosica enhanced its free radical scavenging capacity by activating its antioxidant enzyme system; and (2) growth stage and leaf age had effects on the reaction of the photosynthetic system to drought. Small A. ordosica plants could not withstand severe drought stress (70% rainfall reduction), whereas large A. ordosica individuals could absorb deep soil water to ensure their survival in severe drought stressed condition. Under 30% and 50% rainfall reduction conditions, young leaves had a greater ability to resist drought than old leaves, whereas the latter were more resistant to severe drought stress. The response of A. ordosica photosynthetic system reflected the trade-off at different growth stages and leaf ages of photosynthetic production under different degrees of drought. This study provides a more comprehensive and systematic perspective for understanding the drought resistance mechanisms of desert plants.
摘要：Understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of the forage-livestock balance is imperative for regionally arranging animal husbandry production while ensuring sustainable grassland-ecosystem service use. The Xilin Gol steppe is an important native grassland resource in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. This study aimed to elucidate the dynamics of the forage-livestock balance in the Xilin Gol steppe during the period 2000–2015. We evaluated the forage production and corresponding livestock carrying capacity (LCC) in the growing seasons of 2000–2015 using remote sensing data and field surveys. The spatiotemporal patterns of the forage-livestock balance were then assessed at regional, city (including city, county and banner), and village scales using statistical and household survey data. The results showed that both forage production and LCC decreased in the Xilin Gol steppe from east to west. During the period 2000–2015, the regional average forage production and corresponding LCC fluctuated without following a distinct trend, but were consistent with the variations in precipitation. The forage-livestock balance varied with time, space, and scale. At the regional scale, steppes were overgrazed in the early 2000s, but a forage-livestock balance or even grazing potential was achieved in other years. At the city scale, approximately half of the region exhibited a "forage-livestock balance" since 2000. However, about half of the region still experienced overgrazing, which mainly located in the southwest sandy zones. Such changes may have been affected by the variations in grassland quality, forage production, compensation payment, and so on. We suggest a location-specific management scheme for grazing constraints, ecological compensation payment, and industry development to aid in harmonizing animal husbandry and environmental restoration, while promoting sustainable development goals by 2030.