Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (1): 30-39.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015207

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Responses of spatial pattern of woody plants’ basal area to topographic factors in a tropical karst seasonal rainforest in Nonggang, Guangxi, southern China

Yili Guo1, 2, Bin Wang1, 2, Wusheng Xiang1, 2, Tao Ding1, 2, Shuhua Lu1, 2, Fuzhao Huang1, 2, Shujun Wen1, 2, Dongxing Li1, 2, Yunlin He1, 2, Xiankun Li1, 2, *()   

  1. 1 Guangxi Key Laboratory of Plant Conservation and Restoration Ecology in Karst Terrain, Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guilin, Guangxi 541006
    2 Guangxi Youyiguan Forest Ecosystem National Research Station, Pingxiang, Guangxi 532699
  • Received:2015-07-18 Accepted:2015-11-02 Online:2016-06-12
  • Li Xiankun

Spatial patterns of aboveground biomass are important aspect of species distribution patterns, whereas the environmental heterogeneity caused by the topographical differences in the scope of local scales is the environmental basis for the formation and evolution of this pattern in natural forest systems. In this study, we examined the spatial patterns of total basal area of woody plants, to quantitatively analyze the response mechanisms of the spatial patterns of total basal area to the seven topographic factors using a generalized additive model in a fully mapped 15 ha permanent plot in a northern tropical seasonal rainforest in a karst landscape in southern China. We used the total basal area of all the individuals and each DBH class in each 20 m × 20 m quadrat as a standard to measure the value of aboveground biomass of woody plants. Results showed that the hillside had the highest total basal area but the lowest was found at the ridge of the three habitat types. The total basal area of the ridge was significantly different between the hillside and the depression. Topographic factors had definite effects on the total basal area of woody plants, with the following sequence: elevation > aspect > convexity > rock-bareness rate (RBR) > altitude above channel (ACH) > slope > topographic wetness index (TWI). All topographical factors were statistically significant with the exception of the TWI and slope showing marginally significant. The relationships between the spatial variation of total basal area of woody plants and topographic factors reflected the response mechanisms and growth strategies of woody plants in a tropical seasonal rainforest under the effects of the redistribution of soil, water and light conditions.

Key words: pattern, basal area, topographic factors, contribution rate, Nonggang Dynamics Forest Plot, tropical karst seasonal rainforest

Fig. 1

Spatial patterns of total basal area of karst seasonal rainforest in Nonggang, Guangxi"

Fig. 2

Results of generalized additive models (GAM) regression between different topographic factors and total basal area of the karst seasonal rainforest in Nonggang, Guangxi. S(topographic factor) is the fitted value of smoothing spline functions, which represent their impacts on the total basal area. The solid lines represent the expected values of total basal area; the dotted lines represent the 95% confidence intervals of equations."

Table 1

Tests of generalized additive models (GAM) for modeling total basal area in the Nonggang karst seasonal rainforest and topographic factors"

径级 DBH
Class (cm)
Environmental parameters
r2adj 累计解释偏差
Cumulative explained deviation (%)
赤池信息准则Akaike Information Criterion (AIC)
All individuals
海拔 Elevation 0.148 16.1 -88.071
坡向 Aspect 0.256 28.4 -130.984
凹凸度 Convexity 0.291 33.1 -142.770
岩石裸露率 Rock-bareness rate 0.313 36.0 -148.860
地形湿润指数Topographic wetness index 0.314 36.4 -149.909
坡度 Slope 0.322 37.4 -152.044
干旱度指数 Altitude above channel 0.336 39.4 -156.461
DBH < 2.5 海拔 Elevation 0.113 12.6 -2,416.026
坡向 Aspect 0.153 18.4 -2,425.371
凹凸度 Convexity 0.193 22.8 -2,441.038
岩石裸露率 Rock-bareness rate 0.266 29.7 -2,477.055
地形湿润指数Topographic wetness index 0.303 34.0 -2,492.105
坡度 Slope 0.311 34.9 -2,495.940
干旱度指数 Altitude above channel 0.328 36.3 -2,506.965
2.5 ≤ DBH < 7.5 海拔 Elevation 0.412 42.1 -1,340.583
坡向 Aspect 0.432 44.7 -1,348.138
凹凸度 Convexity 0.462 48.9 -1,360.737
岩石裸露率 Rock-bareness rate 0.481 51.1 -1,371.831
地形湿润指数Topographic wetness index 0.505 53.1 -1,390.343
坡度 Slope 0.540 57.6 -1,407.893
干旱度指数 Altitude above channel 0.540 57.8 -1,410.145
7.5 ≤ DBH < 22.5 海拔 Elevation 0.194 21.0 -448.036
坡向 Aspect 0.267 29.5 -476.660
凹凸度 Convexity 0.305 34.4 -490.249
岩石裸露率 Rock-bareness rate 0.316 36.2 -492.008
地形湿润指数Topographic wetness index 0.334 38.0 -498.367
坡度 Slope 0.339 38.5 -507.223
干旱度指数 Altitude above channel 0.381 43.6 -522.046
22.5 ≤ DBH 海拔 Elevation 0.263 27.4 -193.325
坡向 Aspect 0.321 34.7 -216.574
凹凸度 Convexity 0.326 35.4 -216.982
岩石裸露率 Rock-bareness rate 0.335 36.5 -220.844
地形湿润指数Topographic wetness index 0.345 37.8 -225.257
坡度 Slope 0.392 42.8 -250.109
干旱度指数 Altitude above channel 0.398 43.7 -251.184

Table 2

The Spearman correlations (rho values) between different topographic factors"

坡度 Slope (SLO) 凹凸度 Convexity (CON) 坡向 Aspect (ASP) 地形湿润指数Topographic wetness index (TWI) 干旱度指数 Altitude above channel (ACH) 岩石裸露率 Rock-bareness rate (RBR) 胸高断面积之和
Total basal area
海拔 Elevation (ELE) 0.578** 0.466** 0.052 -0.701** 0.289** 0.450** -0.147*
SLO 0.336** 0.205* -0.631** 0.220** 0.509** -0.080
CON 0.025 -0.564** 0.518** 0.300** 0.051
ASP -0.098 -0.159* 0.140* 0.134*
TWI -0.629** -0.326** 0.035
ACH -0.016 0.083
RBR 0.044
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