The isotope ratios δ13C and δ15N and the contents of nitrogen, carbon, and mineral substances have been studied in the leaves of Ephedra sinica, Allium polyrhizum, and Stipa glareosa plants growing separately or together under arid conditions of the Gobi (Mongolia). The contents of nitrogen, mineral substances, and δ15N have proved to decrease when these species grow together, providing evidence that they compete for environmental resources. The nitrogen content decreases to the greatest extent in E. sinica due to the low competitiveness of this species. The direction of change in δ13C in E. sinica is opposite to that in A. polyrhizum and S. glareosa. Differences in physiological mechanisms of adaptation to stress between these species provides a basis for attributing them to different functional groups and for predicting the result of their competition upon changes in climatic conditions.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 9, 2007
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