A field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of large-scale climatic changes on biomass and biomass allocation in Leymus chinensis on an 11 longitude gradient along the North-east China Transect (NECT) in 2000. Ten sites, selected for plant sampling along the gradient, experienced approximately uniform theoretical radiation, but differed in precipitation and geographical elevation. The total biomasses, vegetative shoot biomass and reproductive shoot biomass of the species increased from the west to the east with the decrease of aridity or the increase of precipitation, but that of rhizome biomass decreased in the spatial ranging from 116° to 120°E. Vegetative shoot biomass allocation increased from the west to the east along the gradient; rhizome allocations, however, dropped significantly. Unlike those of rhizome and vegetative shoot, reproductive shoot biomass allocations at the two ends were remarkably lower than that in the middle of the gradient. In general, the total and component biomass and their allocations showed strong correlation with precipitation or aridity index along the gradient. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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