Biodiversity Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 1269-1278.doi: 10.17520/biods.2019224

• Original Papers:Plant Diversity •     Next Article

Explaining the diversity and endemic patterns based on phylogenetic approach for woody plants of the Loess Plateau

Xuerui Dong1, Hong Zhang2, Minggang Zhang1, *()   

  1. 1 Institute of Loess Plateau, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006
    2 College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006
  • Received:2019-07-10 Accepted:2019-12-12 Online:2019-12-24
  • Zhang Minggang

The Loess Plateau is home to various vegetation types as it contains famous transitional forests, grasslands, and deserts. Due to natural resource limitation and intensive human activities, this natural environment faces serious conservation challenges. In order to effectively conserve this natural environment, spatial mapping of species diversity is key to conservation efforts. In this study, we first modeled the potential distribution of 293 woody species based on specimen records and climate data and then calculated the spatial patterns of species richness and weighted endemism. Secondly, we calculated phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic endemism and identified environmental drivers of the observed spatial patterns. Finally, we analyzed endemism types and tested their significance. Our results suggest that biodiversity hotspots are distributed on the southern edge of the Loess Plateau and are highly related to the flora of Qinling Mountains. The biodiversity patterns of this transitional region are driven by annual precipitation and minimum temperature of coldest month. Endemism hotspots were found on the southern edge of the Loess Plateau, which contain paleo-endemism and mixed-endemism, but no neo-endemism. We concluded that most woody species of the Loess Plateau originated in tropical or subtropical regions, and the species richness patterns of this region are maintained by dispersal rather than speciation. Our study indicated the importance of incorporating the evolutionary history in biodiversity conservation.

Key words: diversity distribution pattern, phylogeny, climatic factors, neo-endemism, paleo-endemism, woody plant, Loess Plateau

Table 1

Spearman correlation coefficient between reserved environmental variables"

年平均温度 Annual mean temperature 平均日较差 Mean diurnal range 温度季节性 Temperature seasonality 最热月最高温
Max. temperature of warmest month
最冷月最低温 Min. temperature
of coldest month
年平均降水量 Annual precipitation
平均日较差 Mean diurnal range -0.197
温度季节性 Temperature seasonality -0.110 0.750
Max. temperature of warmest month
0.640 0.436 0.548
Min. temperature of coldest month
0.727 -0.713 -0.687 0.059
年平均降水量 Annual precipitation 0.362 -0.619 -0.709 -0.167 0.702
最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month 0.327 -0.265 -0.134 0.209 0.374 0.602

Fig. 1

Spatial pattern of woody plant diversity in the Loess Plateau. (A) Species richness (SR); (B) Weighted endemism (WE); (C) Phylogenetic diversity (PD); (D) Phylogenetic endemism (PE); (E) Species richness of sampling records."

Table 2

Results of multiple stepwise regression of climatic factors and biodiversity indices in the Loess Plateau. R2adj: the adjusted coefficients of determination; Beta: the standardized regression coefficient; t: t test for the regression coefficient."

R2adj. Beta t
物种丰富度 Species richness
年平均降水量 Annual precipitation 0.656 0.438 31.316
最冷月最低温 Min. temperature of coldest month 0.772 0.392 30.247
最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month 0.777 0.098 8.549
平均日较差 Mean diurnal range 0.782 -0.097 7.798
物种加权特有性 Weighted endemism
年平均降水量 Annual precipitation 0.544 0.197 9.037
最冷月最低温 Min. temperature of coldest month 0.658 -0.445 -2.245
最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month 0.682 0.288 16.948
最热月最高温 Max. temperature of warmest month 0.700 0.661 3.831
平均日较差 Mean diurnal range 0.701 -0.359 -5.554
温度季节性 Temperature seasonality 0.704 -0.847 -4.621
系统发育多样性 Phylogenetic diversity
年平均降水量 Annual precipitation 0.652 0.411 21.770
最冷月最低温 Min. temperature of coldest month 0.766 -1.014 -5.746
平均日较差 Mean diurnal range 0.771 -0.466 -8.296
最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month 0.775 0.121 8.308
温度季节性 Temperature seasonality 0.777 -1.215 -7.670
最热月最高温 Max. temperature of warmest month 0.781 0.885 4.931
年平均温度 Annual mean temperature 0.782 0.264 2.219
系统发育特有性 Phylogenetic endemism
最冷月最低温 Min. temperature of coldest month 0.520 -0.443 -2.166
年平均降水量 Annual precipitation 0.633 0.157 6.957
最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month 0.659 0.307 17.472
最热月最高温 Max. temperature of warmest month 0.680 0.653 3.666
平均日较差 Mean diurnal range 0.681 -0.352 -5.270
温度季节性 Temperature seasonality 0.683 -0.866 -4.572

Fig. 2

Spatial pattern of significant metrics of woody plant in the Loess Plateau. (A) Phylogenetic diversity; (B) Phylogenetic endemism; (C) Relative phylogenetic diversity; (D) Relative phylogenetic endemism."

Fig. 3

The categorical analysis of neo- and paleo-endemism of woody plants in the Loess Plateau"

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