Biodiversity Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (4): 463-470.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015011

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

The explanation of climatic hypotheses to community species diversity patterns in Inner Mongolia grasslands

Qingfu Liu1, Yang Liu1, Xiaoli Sun1, Xuefeng Zhang1, Sarula Kang1, Yong Ding2, Qing Zhang1, 3, *(), Jianming Niu1, 3, *()   

  1. 1 School of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021
    2 Institute of Grassland Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hohhot 010010
    3 Sino-US Center for Conservation, Energy and Sustainability Science in Inner Mongolia, Hohhot 010021
  • Received:2015-01-14 Accepted:2015-06-12 Online:2015-08-03
  • Zhang Qing,Niu Jianming;

Understanding spatial pattern of species diversity is central to macroecology and biogeography. Based on species diversity and nine different climatic factors of 192 field sites, we explored geographic patterns of species richness and dominant factors in Inner Mongolia grassland, and further determined applicability of different climatic hypotheses in this area. Results indicated the species richness of the Inner Mongolia grassland exhibited significant longitudinal gradients, which increased from west to east. Meanwhile, because of the collinearity of latitude and longitude within the Inner Mongolia grassland, it also exhibited significant latitudinal gradients. Analysis of variance indicated that only 2.7% and 11.4% of the total variance were explained by energy and moisture factors, respectively, while 46.3% was simultaneously explained by the two groups of factors, 39.6% was explained by other undetermined factors. These results indicate that energy and moisture play a decisive role in the distribution patterns of species richness and support the water-energy dynamic hypothesis. We find the water-energy dynamic hypothesis is best suited for the Inner Mongolia grassland.

Key words: energy factors, moisture factors, longitude, water-energy dynamic hypothesis

Fig. 1

Distribution of field sites in Inner Mongolia grassland"

Fig. 2

Trend of species richness in Inner Mongolia grassland along longitude (a) and latitude (b)"

Fig. 3

Regression analyses of the relationship between species richness in Inner Mongolia grasslands and climatic factors"

Table 1

Eigenvalues and contribution rates of the energy and moisture climate factors"

Contribution rate of variance (%)
Cumulative contribution rate of variance (%)
能量 1 4.126 82.525 82.525
Energy 2 0.749 14.972 97.497
3 0.100 2.006 99.502
4 0.024 0.470 99.973
5 0.001 0.027 100.000
水分 1 2.831 94.363 94.363
Moisture 2 0.168 5.588 99.951
3 0.001 0.049 100.000

Table 2

Matrix of principal components of energy and moisture climate factors"

能量因子 Energy factors 成分 Component
1 2 3 4 5
潜在蒸散量 Potential evapotranspiration (PET, mm) 0.864 -0.451 0.220 -0.039 -0.001
年平均气温 Mean annual temperature (MAT, °C) 0.989 -0.095 -0.095 0.051 -0.027
最暖月平均气温 Mean temperature of warmest month (WMT, °C) 0.832 0.536 0.127 0.074 0.009
最冷月平均气温 Mean temperature of coldest month (CMT, °C) 0.932 -0.328 -0.148 0.028 0.023
温暖指数 Warmth index (WI) 0.917 0.376 -0.070 -0.115 -0.001
水分因子 Moisture factors 成分 Component
1 2 3
年平均降水量 Mean annual precipitation (MAP, mm) 0.350 -0.791 -19.410
最湿润季降水量 Precipitation of wettest quarter (PWQ, mm) 0.347 -1.133 17.474
最干燥季降水量 Precipitation of driest quarter (PDQ, mm) 0.333 2.014 2.211

Fig. 4

The explanation of energy and moisture climate factors to species diversity patterns in Inner Mongolia grassland. a is the independent component attributed to energy factors, b is the covarying component of energy factors and moisture factors, c is the independent component attributed to moisture factors, d is residual deviance."

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