Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 678-689.doi: 10.17520/biods.2017132

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Elevational pattern of seed plant diversity in Xishuangbanna and its mechanisms

Xu Xiang, Zhang Huayong*(), Xie Ting, Sun Qingqing, Tian Yonglan   

  1. Research Center for Engineering Ecology and Nonlinear Science, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206
  • Received:2018-03-08 Accepted:2018-05-26 Online:2018-09-11
  • Zhang Huayong

The mechanisms underlying elevational patterns of species diversity remain one of the most important questions in biogeography and macroecology. We studied the effects of area, mid-domain effect (MDE) and contemporary climate on elevational patterns in species richness and species density for native seed plants in Xishuangbanna, for which we used plant monograph, digital elevation model, and large-scale climatic data. We found that: (1) area, MDE, and climate explained 81.9%, 17.5%, and 60.0-69.3% of the unimodal pattern in species richness; (2) when species richness calculated using the species-area hypothesis showed a decreasing pattern along the elevational gradient. Moreover, richness was not correlated to MDE and the explanatory power of climate decreased to 32.6-40.6%; (3) species richness calculated using equal-area elevational bands showed a hump-shaped pattern but was not correlated to MDE; the explanatory power of climate was 81.6-89.9%. Our results provides comprehensive insights into the theoretical mechanisms underlying elevational patterns in species diversity and also provide practical guidance for the biodiversity conservation in Xishuangbanna.

Key words: species richness, species density, species-area relationship, mid-domain effect, elevation

Fig. 1

Topography distribution of Xishuangbanna"

Fig. 2

Land use distribution of Xishuangbanna"

Fig. 3

Elevational pattern of species richness for seed plants in Xishuangbanna"

Fig. 4

Relationship between species richness of seed plants and area, species richness predicted by mid-domain effect (MDE), mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, minimum temperature of coldest month and actual evapotranspiration in Xishuangbanna"

Fig. 5

Relationship between cumulative species richness and cumulative number of bands (a), cumulative area (b) in plant diversity hotspots identified using the complementary algorithm in Xishuangbanna"

Fig. 6

Spatial relationship between plant diversity hotspots identified using the complementary algorithm and nature reserves in Xishuangbanna."

Table 1

Spatial regression between plant diversity hotspots and nature reserves in Xishuangbanna"

Hotspot elevational band (m)
Hotspot area covered
by nature reserves (km2)
Percentage of hotspot area covered by nature reserves (%)
800-900 312.63 28.90
1,300-1,400 303.45 25.70
600-700 57.16 6.58
1,000-1,100 585.83 36.20
1,500-1,600 129.96 21.53
1,700-1,800 61.78 18.76
1,100-1,200 529.49 31.08
合计 Total 1,980.30 26.81
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