Biodiversity Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (12): 1303-1312.doi: 10.17520/biods.2017140

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Article     Next Article

Biodiversity of natural vegetation and influencing factors in western Inner Mongolia

Chongyao Yang1, Engui Li1, Huiying Chen1, Jinghui Zhang2, Yongmei Huang1, *()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
    2 School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021
  • Received:2017-05-12 Accepted:2017-12-01 Online:2017-12-10
  • Huang Yongmei

To determine biodiversity, 74 plant community plots were surveyed in western Inner Mongolia between 2012 and 2014. These samples were divided into four vegetation types, including temperate steppe, temperate shrub, meadow, and desert. Four biodiversity indices (Patrick index, Simpson index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou index) were calculated to show biodiversity differences among the four vegetation types. Climate and soil data were also collected over the course of the survey. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to reveal the relationship between biodiversity and environmental factors and stepwise regression analysis was used to determine dominant environmental factors. Results indicated that: (1) In western Inner Mongolia, biodiversity indices were different among the four vegetation types. Temperate steppe and meadow had similar values for biodiversity indices, and were also the highest amongst all vegetation types, while the lowest biodiversity was found in the desert. (2) Pearson correlation analysis showed that the Patrick index, Shannon-Wiener index, and Simpson index were all negatively and linearly correlated with mean annual temperature and potential evapotranspiration. (3) Among all chemical properties of the soil, pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen all influenced biodiversity indices. (4) Stepwise regression analysis showed that potential evapotranspiration and soil organic carbon were the most influential factors affecting the Patrick index and Shannon-Wiener index. The only dominant factor for the Simpson index was soil organic carbon while soil total nitrogen was most important factor for the Pielou index.

Key words: vegetation types, biodiversity, meteorological factors, soil chemical properties, western Inner Mongolia

Fig. 1

Distribution of sampling sites in western Inner Mongolia"

Table 1

Community types of western Inner Mongolia"

Vegetation type
Plot number
Community name
Temperate shrub
27 柄扁桃灌丛, 蒙古扁桃灌丛, 山杏灌丛, 油蒿灌丛, 中间锦鸡儿灌丛, 柠条锦鸡儿灌丛, 小叶锦鸡儿灌丛, 藏锦鸡儿灌丛, 沙地柏灌丛, 西伯利亚白刺灌丛, 虎榛子灌丛, 单瓣黄刺玫灌丛, 蒙古绣线菊灌丛, 柽柳灌丛 Amygdalus pedunculata shrub, A. mongolica shrub, Armeniaca sibirica shrub, Artemisia ordosica shrub, Caragana davazamcii shrub, C. korshinskii shrub, C. microphylla shrub, C. tibetica shrub, Juniperus sabina shrub, Nitraria sibirica shrub, Ostryopsis davidiana shrub, Rosa xanthina var. normalis shrub, Spiraea mongolica shrub, Tamarix chinensis shrub
Temperate steppe
25 冷蒿草原, 白莲蒿草原, 无芒隐子草草原, 羊茅草原, 羊草草原, 短花针茅草原, 沙生针茅草原, 戈壁针茅草原, 小针茅草原, 克氏针茅草原 Artemisia frigida steppe, A. sacrorum steppe, Cleistogenes songorica steppe, Festuca ovina steppe, Leymus chinensis steppe, Stipa breviflora steppe, S. glareosa steppe, S. gobica steppe, S. klemenzii steppe, S. krylovii steppe
16 沙米+虫实+猪毛菜荒漠, 沙冬青荒漠, 籽蒿荒漠, 中亚紫菀木荒漠, 梭梭荒漠, 半日花荒漠, 盐爪爪荒漠, 驼绒藜荒漠, 红砂荒漠, 四合木荒漠, 霸王荒漠 Agriophyllum squarrosum + Corispermum sp.+ Salsola sp. desert, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus desert, Artemisia sphaerocephala desert, Asterothamnus centraliasiaticus desert, Haloxylon ammodendron desert, Helianthemum songaricum desert, Kalidium foliatum desert, Krascheninnikovia ceratoides desert, Reaumuria songarica desert, Tetraena mongolica desert, Zygophyllum xanthoxylon desert
草甸 Meadow 6 芨芨草草甸, 拂子茅草甸, 薹草-杂类草草甸 Achnatherum splendens meadow, Calamagrostis epigeios meadow, Carex spp. -forb meadow

Fig. 2

Biodiversity indices of different community types in western Inner Mongolia"

Table 2

Pearson correlation analysis between species diversity indices and climatic factors of plant communities in western Inner Mongolia"

Diversity index
年均温 Mean annual temperature 年降水 Mean annual precipitation 最冷月均温 Mean temperature of the coldest month 潜在蒸散量 Potential evapotranspiration
Patrick丰富度指数 Patrick index -0.541** 0.367** -0.446** -0.568**
Simpson指数 Simpson index -0.294* 0.139 -0.212 -0.319**
Shannon-Wiener指数 Shannon-Wiener index -0.418** 0.253* -0.326** -0.444**
Pielou均匀度指数 Pielou index -0.067 -0.042 -0.003 -0.090

Table 3

Pearson correlation analysis between species diversity indices and soil chemical properties of plant communities in western Inner Mongolia"

多样性指数 Diversity index pH 有机碳 Total organic carbon 全氮 Total nitrogen 全磷 Total phosphorus
Patrick丰富度指数 Patrick index -0.511** 0.509** 0.307* 0.171
Simpson指数 Simpson index -0.286* 0.388** 0.226 0.096
Shannon-Wiener指数 Shannon-Wiener index -0.388** 0.462** 0.271* -0.151
Pielou均匀度指数 Pielou index -0.119 0.330** 0.326** 0.133

Table 4

Results of stepwise regression analysis"

Dependent variable
Variables entered
调整 R2
Adjusted R2
P value
Patrick index
PET 0.358 0.000
TOC 0.415 0.010
Simpson指数 Simpson index TOC 0.122 0.003
Shannon-Wiener index
PET 0.196 0.008
TOC 0.259 0.015
Pielou均匀度指数 Pielou index TN 0.108 0.005
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