Biodiversity Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 79-88.doi: 10.17520/biods.2014174

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• Original Papers: Ecosystem Diversity • Previous Article     Next Article

Effects of tending on the functional traits and functional diversity of woody plants in a secondary tropical lowland rain forest

Xinghui Lu1, Runguo Zang1*, Yi Ding1, Jihong Huang1, Xiusen Yang2, Yadong Zhou3   

  1. 1Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment of the State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100091

    2Bawangling Forestry Bureau of Hainan Province, Changjiang, Hainan 572722

    3College of Agriculture, Hainan University, Haikou 570228
  • Received:2014-08-25 Revised:2014-11-21 Online:2015-05-04
  • Runguo Zang E-mail:zangrung@caf.ac.cn

Secondary forests occupy a large and growing proportion of tropical forest coverage. Combined with the rapid decrease in primary forests, this expansion leads to increasing importance of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation and maintenance of regional ecological resources. However, in many instances the function and productivity of secondary forests are relatively low compared with old growth forests. Therefore, it may prove important to enhance the recovery rate and related ecosystem services of these forests through forest tending practices. Here, we explored the effects of tending measures on the functional traits and functional diversity of woody plants in a secondary tropical lowland rain forest in Bawangling forest region on Hainan Island. We conducted a tending practice in 60 plots (50 m × 50 m) in 2012. We logged trees which hindered the growth of the target species in 30 plots and the others were control. Then we analyzed the impact of tending on community functional traits and functional diversity with ANOVA. Our results showed that specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen content and leaf potassium content significantly decreased at the community level with tending, but woody density and the maximum potential height significantly increased. Leaf chlorophyll content, leaf phosphorus content did not change significantly after tending. Functional richness decreased significantly, and functional evenness and functional divergence significantly increased, while functional dispersion did not change significantly after tending. Our results point to the various ways in which tending can change the trajectory of a secondary forest as it succeeds towards an old growth forest.

Key words: succession, functional key species, functional diversity, forest recovery

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