Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (9): 1023-1028.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018138

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Spatial variations in species diversity of mid-subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest community in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve

Wei Lu1, 2#, Jianping Yu3#, Haibao Ren2, *(), Xiangcheng Mi2, Jianhua Chen1, *(), Keping Ma2   

  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 Ecological Resource Protection Center, Qianjiangyuan National Park, Kaihua, Zhejiang 324300
  • Received:2018-05-10 Accepted:2018-08-28 Online:2019-01-05
  • Ren Haibao,Chen Jianhua;
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Many studies have examined the patterns and mechanisms underlying the structure of mid-subtropical forest community, but spatial variation in species diversity has rarely been investigated. We examined spatial variations in α- and β-diversity among and between 24 subplots of 1-ha each within the 24 ha forest dynamics plot in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve. We found that (1) the top two dominant species were the same for almost all the subplots, but the third dominants differed greatly; (2) α-diversity varied greatly among subplots: total number of individuals showed the largest differences, followed by species richness, Shannon-Wiener index, and Pielou evenness index; (3) species richness showed no correlation with total abundance and Pielou evenness index but was positively correlated with Shannon-Wiener index, which was positively correlated with Pielou evenness; (4) there was high species turnover between neighboring subplots, but these patterns were not consistent with the spatial variation in species richness. Our results highlight the importance of spatial scales for assessing community structure and mechanisms of community assembly. Since forest communities are influenced by ecological processes at multiple scales, large-scale plots may be better than small-scale plots to explore multiple mechanisms of community assembly.

Key words: Gutianshan, mid-subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, alpha diversity, beta diversity, spatial variation

Fig. 1

Spatial variation of α diversity among 24 subplots of 1-ha each within the 24 ha forest dynamics plot in Gutianshan. (a) Total number of individuals within 1-ha subplot; (b) Species richness; (c) Shannon-Wiener index; (d) Pielou evenness index. The background curves are contours and the numbers are elevations relative to the lowest point in the whole plot of 24 ha. X- and Y-axes are length and width of 24 ha plot (unit: m)."

Fig. 2

Variation of β-diversity within a 1-ha plot (a) and between-nearest-neighbor-plots (b). The background curves are contours and the numbers are elevations relative to the lowest point in the whole 24 ha plot. The gray patchy ground refers to the variation in species richness among plots, the same as Fig. 1b."

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