Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (9): 1016-1022.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018074

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Community composition and spatial structure in the Badagongshan 25 ha Forest Dynamics Plot in Hunan Province

Yunzhi Qin1, 2, Jiaxin Zhang1, 2, Jianming Liu1, 2, Mengting Liu1, 2, Dan Wan1, 2, Hao Wu1, 2, Yang Zhou1, 2, Hongjie Meng1, 2, Zhiqiang Xiao1, 2, Handong Huang1, Yaozhan Xu1, Zhijun Lu1, Xiujuan Qiao1, *(), Mingxi Jiang1   

  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:2018-03-08 Accepted:2018-06-03 Online:2019-01-05
  • Qiao Xiujuan E-mail:xjqiao@wbgcas.cn
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Mount Badagongshan (BDGS) National Nature Reserve is located in the northern margin of Wuling Mountain, which harbor large areas of evergreen and deciduous broadleaved mixed forests. These forests have high species diversity and possess a complex community structure. In 2010-2011, a 25 ha (500 m × 500 m) forest dynamic plot was established in this reserve according to the standards of the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS). Within this plot, all woody plants with DBH ≥ 1 cm were mapped and identified to species level. Based on these data, we analyzed community composition and spatial structure of the vegetation community. We found 186,575 individuals in the plot, belonging to 53 families, 114 genera and 232 species. There were 38 species that had > 1,000 individuals each and these species comprised 87% of total abundance. The most abundant species was Litsea elongata. There were 103 rare species, i.e. with ≤ 25 individuals, which accounted for 44% of all woody species but only made up 0.4% of the total abundance. Across all individuals in the plot, the average DBH was 5.41 cm. Individuals with DBH ≤ 5 cm accounted for 68.4% of the overall abundance and the 7,474 individuals with DBH ≥ 20 cm accounted for only 4% of the overall abundance. The frequency distribution of DBH appeared to have a reverse “J” shape, suggesting that the community was maintaining successful regeneration and normal growth patterns. The number of species increased linearly with increasing area. When the sampling area was increased to 10 ha, we recorded 201 species, which represented more than 90% species of the entire plot. These 1-ha samples had average abundance of 7,261.8 ± 974.8 (SD), average species richness of 128.2 ± 8.2 (SD), average of 3.56 ± 0.11 (SD) for Shannon-Wiener index, and 1.69 ± 0.06 (SD) for Pielou evenness index. There was no significant relationship between abundance and the diversity indices, suggesting that instead of the sampling effect, some other mechanisms affected the species diversity pattern in BDGS plot.

Key words: community structure, Wuling Mountain, α diversity;, species-abundance distribution, species-area relationship

Fig. 1

Species abundance distribution in Badagongshan 25 ha dynamic plot. The left is species rank from most abundant to most rare; the right is the histogram of species number on log scale."

Fig. 2

Histogram of DBH in Badagongshan dynamic plot. a, Based on each individual; b, Based on the mean DBH for each species."

Fig. 3

Individual-area relationship and species-area relationship in Badagongshan dynamic plot"

Fig. 4

Spatial variation in α diversity in Badagongshan dynamic plot"

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