Biodiversity Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 117-127.doi: 10.17520/biods.2019202

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Influence of habitat on the distribution pattern and diversity of plant community in dry and warm valleys of the middle reaches of the Dadu River, China

Xia Li1, 2, Wanze Zhu1, *(), Shouqin Sun1, Shumiao Shu1, 2, Zheliang Sheng1, 2, Jun Zhang1, 2, Ting Liu1, 2, Zhicai Zhang3   

  1. 1 Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Conservancy, Chengdu 610041
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 Forestry Bureau of Shimian County, Shimian, Sichuan 625400
  • Received:2019-06-25 Accepted:2019-12-16 Online:2019-12-24
  • Wanze Zhu

In the dry and warm valleys of the middle reaches of the Dadu River, landslides and debris flows occur frequently. Studying vegetation on these slopes is valuable in understanding vegetation succession in regards to ecological restoration of highly disturbed landscapes. In this study, plots were selected along the Dadu River every 5 km to investigate species composition, distribution, topography, soil characteristics, and vegetation change in the middle reaches of the Dadu River valley. Plant communities were classified, compared and sorted using multiple regression tree (MRT), alpha diversity index and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The results showed that the landscape were divided into four communities based on three factors: soil carbon, pH and C : N, i.e. Lespedeza floribunda-Arthraxon hispidus-Elsholtzia ciliate, Ficus tikoua-Dodonaea viscosa-Carex schneideri, Pinus yunnanensis-Quercus variabilis and Arthraxon hispidus-Heteropogon contortus. Shrub and grass dominate this area, with occasional areas of bare ground which is liable to debris flow disasters. The species richness, dominance and diversity of shrub-grass (Lespedeza floribunda) community are consistently higher than arbor and grass communities, although species diversity values are not significant. The shrub and grass community is widely distributed, although fragile and unstable as alien species reached 8.33% within these communities. MRT and CCA analysis showed that pH, C : N, slope direction and soil bulk density are the main factors influencing vegetation distribution pattern as soil influences are more important than topography.

Key words: the Dadu River, dry and warm valleys, multiple regression tree, species diversity, canonical correspondence analysis

Fig. 1

Distribution of transect sites in dry and warm valleys of the Dadu River"

Fig. 2

Dendrogram of multivariate regression plant classification of 24 plots in dry and warm valleys of the Dadu River. Soil C, Soil carbon; P, Plot code."

Fig. 3

Diversity indices of four plant community types in dry and warm valleys of the Dadu River"

Fig. 4

Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination diagram among habitat factors of 24 plots. Aspe, Aspect; Soil C, Soil carbon; Soil G, Soil gravel; Soil BD, Soil bulk density; Soil N, Soil nitrogen; Alti, Altitude; Slope P, Slope position; Slop, Slope."

Table 1

The correlation coefficients, explanatory quantity and contribution rate of 10 habitat factors to the ordination axis of canonical correspondence analysis (CCA)"

Explanatory ability (%)
Contribution (%)
海拔 Altitude 0.4401* 0.0418* -0.5009** -0.151 3.8 8.3
坡度 Slope -0.2779 0.0906 -0.5112** 0.0373 2.6 5.7
坡向 Aspect 0.3188 0.0287 -0.0882 0.7378*** 5.4 11.7
坡位 Slope position 0.3883* -0.5275** 0.0296 -0.1026 3.8 8.2
石砾含量 Soil gravel 0.2783 -0.3094 -0.3122 -0.1195 4.6 9.9
土壤容重 Soil bulk density 0.589** 0.1197 -0.1231 0.352 5.0 10.7
pH -0.4326* 0.1205 0.4675* -0.025 5.7 12.3
土壤碳 Soil carbon 0.1337 -0.1892 0.6837*** -0.046 4.8 10.4
土壤氮 Soil nitrogen -0.3531 -0.3483 0.2149 0.0487 4.9 10.6
碳氮比 C : N ratio 0.1551 0.5692** -0.0554 -0.2788 5.6 12.2

Fig. 5

Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination diagram among habitat factors of plant species. Expo, Slope; Soil C, Soil carbon; Soil G, Soil gravel; Soil BD, Soil bulk density; Soil N, Soil nitrogen; Alti, Altitude; Slope P, Slope position."

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