Biodiversity Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (2): 168-176.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.09169

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Impacts of forest logging on the species diversity of endemic seed plants from Hainan Island

Han Xu1*, Yide Li1, Tushou Luo1, Dexiang Chen1, Mingxian Lin2, Huai Yang2   

  1. 1Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520

    2Experimental Station of Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Ledong, Hainan 572542
  • Received:2011-09-22 Revised:2011-12-16 Online:2012-04-09
  • Han Xu E-mail:hanxu81@gmail.com

Endemic seed plants are important floral components in tropical rainforests, and are often sensitive to human disturbance. However, few reports exist of the impacts of forest logging on these species. In this study, based on surveys of 164 quadrats of 25 m×25 m in Jianfengling, Hainan Island, the species composition and relationships between species richness of Hainan endemic seed plants and the total plant species richness were analyzed. Each of the 164 quadrats was grouped into one of three forest types, including old-growth, selectively logged and clear-cut forests. Then changes in species diversity were studied by comparing species–area relationships, cumulative species–individual relationships and species abundance distributions for the Hainan endemic seed plant species among the three forests types. Results highlighted the abundance and diversity of endemic seed plant species in Jianfengling. We found 158 species which acount for 40% of all endemic seed plant species found on Hainan Island, including 98 woody species (excluding lianas). Fifty-two woody endemic seed plant species (excluding lianas) from Hainan Island were recorded in the 164 quadrats; 53% of all woody endemic seed plant species in Jianfengling. Among them, Lauraceae, Fagaceae and Rubiaceae are dominant families. The richness of the woody seed plant species endemic to Hainan Island was linearly correlated with the total plant species richness in the quadrat. After forest logging, the number of woody endemic seed plant species appears to increase slightly, especially in selectively logged forests. However, the woody endemic seed plant species that appear to increase post-logging only occur in 1–2 quadrats and have relatively small and unstable populations, and may therefore disappear during forest succession. On the other hand, some endemic seed plant species still have medium populations after logging, such as Nephelium topengii, Madhuca hainanensis and Castanopsis jianfenglingensis.

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