Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 749-759.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018055

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Community structure and dynamics of a remnant forest dominated by a plant species with extremely small population (Sinojackia huangmeiensis) in central China

Wang Shitong1,2, Wu Hao1,2, Liu Mengting1,2, Zhang Jiaxin1,2, Liu Jianming1,2, Meng Hongjie1, Xu Yaozhan1, Qiao Xiujuan1, Wei Xinzeng1,*(), Lu Zhijun1, Jiang Mingxi1   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2018-02-11 Accepted:2018-04-02 Online:2018-07-20 Published:2018-09-11
  • Contact: Wei Xinzeng

Abstract:

In China, Sinojackia huangmeiensis is among the 120 plant species with extremely small populations (PSESP), with only one extant wild population located at the lakeside of the Longgan Lake, central China. Here, we followed the field protocol of the 50-ha permanent forest plot on the Barro Colorado Island in Panama to census all free-standing woody species ≥ 1 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) in a 1-ha plot established in a lowland fengshui forest dominated by S. huangmeiensis. We recorded a total of 1,225 living individuals, belonging to 31 species, 28 genera and 21 families. Individuals with DBH < 7.5 cm accounted for ca. 67% of all individuals, indicating good natural regeneration in the community. The most dominant species were Quercus acutissima, Ilex cornuta, Celtis sinensis, and S. huangmeiensis. Quercus acutissima showed a single peak pattern of diameter class distribution, while I. cornuta, C. sinensis, and S. huangmeiensis showed a reverse “J” shape or a partial reverse “J” shape. S. huangmeiensis showed aggregated distribution at small spatial scales and random or uniform distributions at large scales. Individuals of S. huangmeiensis were negatively associated with the other three dominant species. Seedlings of S. huangmeiensis were negatively associated with both conspecific saplings and adults at small scales, but showed no correlation at other scales. There was a significantly positive correlation between sprout number and DBH of S. huangmeiensis (R2 = 0.330, P < 0.001), whereas ratio of sprout and relative seedling density showed a negative correlation (R2 = 0.438, P < 0.001). In general, high percentage of small-sized individuals and interspecific negative associations suggested that this plant community is still at an early-to-middle stage of succession. The remnant fengshui forests in the lowland plains of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are important for their roles in the conservation of biodiversity and endangered plants and should therefore be protected and well-managed.

Key words: species composition, diameter class structure, point pattern analysis, fengshui forest, plant species with extremely small populations, Sinojackia huangmeiensis, in situ conservation