Biodiversity Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (5): 610-618.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015051

Special Issue: Forest Dynamics Monitoring

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Impacts of the 2008 ice storm on structure and composition of an evergreen broad-leaved forest community in eastern China

Yi Jin1, Jianhua Chen2, Xiangcheng Mi3, Haibao Ren3, Keping Ma3, Mingjian Yu1, *()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058
    2 Institute of Ecology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004
    3 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2015-03-06 Accepted:2015-05-19 Online:2015-10-12
  • Yu Mingjian

Subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest (EBLF) is the zonal vegetation of the Chinese subtropical region, among which the most typical and widely distributed type is mid-subtropical EBLF. To explore how the 2008 ice-storm affected the short-term dynamics of mid-subtropical EBLF, we examined the community structure and species composition pre and post the ice storm of the 24 ha forest dynamics plot in Gutianshan. We found that although the DBH size class structure was highly consistent pre and post the ice storm, community level recruitment was low and mortality was high. Results of community dynamics analyses conducted at various grain size scales implied general depressions, despite the different rates of change between habitats. Species abundance and ABH (area at breast height) both decreased but species frequency and IV (importance value) did not change. Species in abundance, ABH, frequency and IV were highly consistent pre and post the ice storm. The results imply that the 2008 ice storm negatively impacted the short-term dynamics of the EBLF community in Gutianshan. The severity of impact was associated with stem DBH and topography. However, the community structure of this old-growth forest showed its considerable resistance to ice storm disturbance.

Key words: evergreen broad-leaved forest, community dynamics, DBH size class structure, ice storm, forest dynamics plot, Gutianshan National Nature Reserve

Fig. 1

Dynamics of DBH size class community structure between 2005 and 2010. Diagram (A) shows DBH size class community structures in 2005 and 2010. The empty part of the bar represents the number of individuals of a DBH size class in 2010, the empty plus the grey filled part represent the number of individuals of a DBH size class in 2005, and the grey filled part represents the decrease in number of individuals between 2005 and 2010. (B) shows the change in relative mortality rate with DBH size class. The dotted line divides relative mortality rate values > 1 from values < 1. Values above the dotted line indicate observed mortality rate > expected mortality rate, larger y value represent larger difference; values below the dotted line indicate observed mortality rate < expected mortality rate, smaller y value represent larger difference."

Fig. 2

Comparisons of the biodiversity, number of individuals and area at breast height (ABH) of multiple grain sized assemblages between 2005 and 2010. Box represents the interquartile range and the median (the thick line); the two whiskers up and below the box represent the upper quantile plus 1.5 times interquantile range and the lower quantile minus 1.5 times interquantile range, respectively. Different letters represent significant difference (P < 0.05)."

Table 1

One-way analysis of variance results of the rates of change in biodiversity, number of individuals and area at breast height (ABH) among different habitat assemblages"

Fig. 3

Rates of change in species abundance, area at breast height (ABH), frequency and importance value (IV) between 2005 and 2010. The right side of the vertical dotted line indicates positive rate of change, the left side indicates negative rate of change."

Fig. 4

Correlations of species abundance, area at breast height (ABH), frequency and importance value (IV) between 2005 and 2010. ○, shade-tolerant species; +, shade-intolerant species. The solid line divides species increased in value from species decreased in value between 2005 and 2010. Values above the solid line indicate increase and below indicate decrease. In (A), on the left side of the dotted line are rare species and on the right side are common species."

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