Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1093-1104.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015341

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Comparing tree seedling composition and distribution patterns under different sampling intensities in the 24 ha Gutianshan forest dynamics plot

Yin Guo1, 2, Yunquan Wang1, 2, Lei Chen2, *(), Xiangcheng Mi2, Haibao Ren2, Shengwen Chen3, Jianhua Chen1, *()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004
    2 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    3 Gutianshan National Nature Reserve Administrative Bureau, Kaihua, Zhejiang 324300
  • Received:2015-12-03 Accepted:2016-10-19 Online:2016-11-10
  • Chen Lei,Chen Jianhua;

As the seedling stage is the bottleneck in forest tree regeneration, knowledge of the composition and structure of seedlings is crucial to understanding the mechanisms of community assemblage and diversity maintenance. However, based on the limited sampling intensity common in previous studies, seedling census datasets are representative of common species, but are ineffective for monitoring rare species. In this study, we established a new seedling monitoring network in the 24 ha Gutianshan (GTS) forest dynamics plot (FDP) consisting of 285 seedling plots (5 m × 5 m) in 2012. In the seedling pots, all woody plants (DBH < 1 cm and height ≥ 10 cm) were tagged, mapped and measured every two years. We used the first census data to investigate seedling composition, species diversity patterns, seedling, and non-seedling species habitat association. Our results showed that: (1) There were 138 species, consisting of a total of 20,581 individuals in 285 seedling plots of 5 m × 5 m. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Rarefied species richness were higher than those of the 1 m × 1 m seedling plots and 24 ha FDP census (DBH ≥ 1 cm). Similar results were found when using rarefaction approach. Compared with 1 m × 1 m seedling plots, the number of species showed a significant increase and the species-area curve became more asymptotic. (2) The relationship between seedling abundance and tree species exhibited negative allometry, suggesting that the mortality rate of plants in the seedling stage was relatively high compared with the rate found in the non-seedling stage due to the negative density dependence. (3) Sampling intensity and selection of DBH cutoffs influence the definition of rare species. Some rare species defined by trees with DBH ≥ 1 cm were not actually rare when individuals with DBH < 1 cm were considered (i.e. Ardisia crenata, Litsea cubeba, Lespedeza thunbergii subsp. formosa). (4) The indicator species of the 5 m × 5 m seedling plots were different from those found in the 24 ha FDP and the 1 m × 1 m seedling census. 13 species was significantly correlated with single habitat type in these 5 m × 5 m seedling plots, which shared only three species that identified as indicator species for 1 m × 1 m seedling plots and two species for non-seedling plots. In conclusion, sampling intensity influenced patterns of tree seedling composition and community diversity, and increasing sampling intensity can provide deeper insights into the processes of diversity maintenance.

Key words: Gutianshan (GTS), tree seedling, sampling intensity, rare species, mechanisms of maintenance of species diversity

Fig. 1

The layout of 285 seedling plots (5 m × 5 m) in the 24 ha GTS forest dynamics plot"

Table 1

The basic information of main species such as importance value (IV) in GTS 5 m × 5 m seedling plots"

物种名 Species 科名 Family 个体数 No. of individuals 重要值 IV (%) 生活型 Life form
甜槠 Castanopsis eyrei 壳斗科 Fagaceae 4,110 24.85 常绿 Evergreen
拟赤杨 Alniphyllum fortunei 安息香科 Styracaceae 1,448 9.95 落叶 Deciduous
虎皮楠 Daphniphyllum pentandrum 虎皮楠科 Daphniphyllaceae 949 7.67 常绿 Evergreen
赤楠 Syzygium buxifolium 桃金娘科 Myrtaceae 900 7.51 常绿 Evergreen
浙江新木姜子 Neolitsea aurata var. chekiangensis 樟科 Lauraceae 791 7.39 常绿 Evergreen
浙江红花油茶 Camellia chekiangoleosa 山茶科 Theaceae 783 7.25 常绿 Evergreen
柳叶蜡梅 Chimonanthus nitens 蜡梅科 Calycanthaceae 688 6.74 落叶 Deciduous
隔药柃 Eurya muricata 山茶科 Theaceae 625 6.04 常绿 Evergreen
毛花连蕊茶 Camellia fraterna 山茶科 Theaceae 536 5.31 常绿 Evergreen
矩形叶鼠刺 Itea omeiensis 虎耳草科 Saxifragaceae 583 4.80 常绿 Evergreen
石斑木 Rhaphiolepis indica 蔷薇科 Rosaceae 434 4.78 常绿 Evergreen
木荷 Schima superba 山茶科 Theaceae 545 4.76 常绿 Evergreen
马银花 Rhododendron ovatum 杜鹃花科 Ericaceae 428 4.47 常绿 Evergreen
杨梅叶蚊母树 Distylium myricoides 金缕梅科 Hamamelidaceae 627 4.42 常绿 Evergreen
红楠 Machilus thunbergii 樟科 Lauraceae 293 3.93 常绿 Evergreen
总计 Total - 20,581 200.00 -

Fig. 2

Species-area relationship of seedlings under different sampling intensities in the 24 ha GTS forest dynamics plot"

Table 2

Comparison of species diversity of seedling and non-seedling plots in the 24 ha GTS forest dynamics plot"

No. of species
No. of individuals
Shannon-Wiener index
Rarefraction (N = 1,000)
Pielou evenness index
幼苗样方 seedling plots
1 m × 1 m幼苗样方
1 m × 1 m seedling plots





5 m × 5 m幼苗样方
5 m × 5 m seedling plots
非幼苗样方 Non-seedling plots
138 20,581 4.25 89.22 0.49
1 cm ≤ DBH < 2.5 cm 144 70,916 4.11 71.83 0.42
2.5 cm ≤ DBH < 7.5 cm 132 45,524 4.05 72.23 0.43
7.5 cm ≤ DBH < 22.5 cm 115 17,835 3.81 66.70 0.42
DBH ≥ 22.5 cm 63 6,425 2.63 35.65 0.33

Fig. 3

Comparison between the abundance of 5 m × 5 m seedling plots and non-seedling plots in the 24 ha GTS forest dynamics plot"

Fig. 4

Relationship of species rank between 5 m × 5 m seedling plots and non-seedling plots in the 24 ha GTS forest dynamics plot"

Table 3

Richness and species diversity of seedlings in different habitat types in GTS 5 m × 5 m seedling plots"

Low valley
低地山脊 中位山坡 高地山脊 整个样地
Low ridge Middle slope High ridge All types
样方数 No. of plots 127 122 14 22 285
幼苗数/样方数 No. of seedlings/No. of plots 83.74 ± 11.80 61.21 ± 9.69 95.92 ± 16.77 51.54 ± 8.03 72.21 ± 9.28
物种数/样方数 No. of species/No. of plots 22.22 ± 0.76 15.77 ± 0.73 24.71 ± 2.06 13.54 ± 1.04 18.92 ± 0.54
Shannon-Wiener指数/样方数 Shannon-Wiener index/
No. of plots
2.65 ± 0.03 2.05 ± 0.05 2.59 ± 0.09 1.96 ± 0.09 2.33 ± 0.33

Table 4

The indicator species in seedling and non-seedling plots in the 24 ha GTS forest dynamics plot"

生境类型 1 m × 1 m 幼苗样方 5 m × 5 m幼苗样方 24 ha样地(非幼苗样方)
Habitat type 1 m × 1m seedling plots 5 m × 5 m seedling plots 24 ha forest dynamics plot (non-seedling plots)
Low valley
矩形叶鼠刺 Itea omeiensis 虎皮楠 Daphniphyllum pentandrum 浙江新木姜子
Neolitsea aurata var. chekiangensis
杨梅叶蚊母树 Distylium myricoides 矩形叶鼠刺 Itea omeiensis 毛花连蕊茶 Camellia fraterna
红楠 Machilus thunbergii 拟赤杨 Alniphyllum fortunei
毛花连蕊茶 Camellia fraterna
野漆树 Toxicodendron succedaneum
Neolitsea aurata var. chekiangensis
Middle slope
细叶青冈 Cyclobalanopsis gracilis 浙江红花油茶 Camellia chekiangoleosa
红楠 Machilus thunbergii 灰白蜡瓣花 Corylopsis glandulifera
马银花 Rhododendron ovatum
北江荛花 Wikstroemia monnula
High slope
短柄枹 Quercus serrata
毛果南烛 Lyonia ovalifolia var. hebecarpa
满山红 Rhododendron mariesii
High ridge
木荷 Schima superba 木荷 Schima superba 化香 Platycarya strobilacea
苦枥木 Fraxinus insularis 美丽胡枝子
Lespedeza thunbergii subsp. formosa
山橿 Lindera reflexa
映山红 Rhododendron simsii 映山红 Rhododendron simsii 石灰花楸 Sorbus folgneri
山橿 Lindera reflexa 山合欢 Albizia kalkora
红楠 Machilus thunbergii
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