Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (6): 545-553.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017320

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationships between species richness and biomass/productivity depend on environmental factors in secondary forests of Dinghai, Zhejiang Province

Chuping Wu1, Wenjuan Han2, Bo Jiang1, Bowen Liu3, Weigao Yuan1, Aihua Shen1,*(), Yujie Huang1, Jinru Zhu1   

  1. 1 Zhejiang Academy of Forestry, Hangzhou 310023
    2 College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321000
    3 Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Dinghai District, Zhoushan City, Zhejiang Province, Dinghai, Zhejiang 316100
  • Received:2017-12-01 Accepted:2018-04-02 Online:2018-06-20 Published:2018-09-11
  • Contact: Shen Aihua
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    # Co-first authors

Abstract:

Experimental studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) have mainly been conducted in artificial ecosystems with randomly assembled species, highlighting the need of testing this relationship in real world. In particular, these studies did not consider the effects of environmental factors on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Hence, we used secondary forests, which are widely distributed in the subtropics, as research objects. We used model fitting methods to study the relationship between species richness and biomass/productivity. Meanwhile, we also explored the effects of environmental factors (e.g., elevation, aspect, slope, and soil depth) on biomass and productivity and on BEF relationships. Our results showed that there was a significant linear correlation between species richness and biomass, and a quartic correlation between species richness and productivity (i.e., humped curve) when environmental factors were not considered. Considering that biomass was significantly affected by stem density and soil depth, while productivity was not affected by environmental factors, we found that only under the environmental conditions characterized by steep slopes, south aspects, or higher soil depths, was species richness significantly correlated with biomass. The relationship between species richness and productivity showed a significant quadratic correlation under higher elevation, but not under any other environmental conditions. These results suggest that the relationship between species richness and productivity is different from the relationship between species richness and biomass, and both these relationships depend on environmental factors.

Key words: biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, subtropical forest, environmental gradient, Zhejiang