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1. chinaXiv:202101.00073 [pdf]

Transformation of vegetative cover on the Ustyurt Plateau of Central Asia as a consequence of the Aral Sea shrinkage

Adilov BEKZOD; Shomurodov HABIBULLO; FAN Lianlian; LI Kaihui; MA Xuexi; LI Yaoming
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The gradual shrinkage of the Aral Sea has led to not only the degradation of the unique environments of the Aral Sea, but also numerous and fast developing succession processes in the neighborhood habitats surrounding the sea. In this study, we investigated the vegetative succession processes related to the Aral Sea shrinkage in the Eastern Cliff of the Ustyurt Plateau in Republic of Uzbekistan, Central Asia. We compared the results of our current investigation (2010–2017) on vegetative communities with the geobotany data collected during the 1970s (1970–1980). The results showed great changes in the mesophytic plant communities and habitat aridization as a result of the drop in the underground water level, which decreased atmospheric humidity and increased the salt content of the soil caused by the shrinkage of the Aral Sea. In the vegetative communities, we observed a decrease in the Margalef index (DMg), which had a positive correlation with the poly-dominance index (I-D). The main indications of the plant communities' transformation were the loss of the weak species, the appearance of new communities with low species diversity, the stabilization of the projective cover of former resistant communities, as well as the appearance of a new competitive species, which occupy new habitats.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits294Downloads140 Comment 0

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