Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 554-563.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.10049

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influence of geographical distance and topographic difference on β diversity in two large-scale forest dynamics plots

Pin Lu1,2, Yi Jin2, Jianhua Chen1, Minghong Li1,*, Mingjian Yu2,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Ecology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004
    2 College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058
  • Received:2013-02-24 Accepted:2013-04-26 Online:2013-09-20 Published:2013-10-08
  • Contact: Li Minghong,Yu Mingjian

Abstract:

β diversity quantifies the extent of community compositional shift in a heterogeneous environment. To understand how β diversity is influenced by geographical distance and topographic variation in continuous space, we compared β diversity in two large-scale forest dynamics plots (FDPs). One of these is a 24 ha plot exhibiting complex topography in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest at Gutianshan (GTS), China. The other is a 50 ha plot of comparatively simple topography present in a lowland tropical moist forest on Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in Panama. We investigated the influence of geographical distance and topographic difference on β diversity at four levels of grain. We adopted the 1-Chao-Jaccard index as a measure of β diversity, and performed tests such as Mantel and Partial Mantel tests to disentangle the effects of geographical distance, topographic variation and five topographical variables on β diversity. The results showed that in both plots β diversity was grain size dependent, decreasing as grain size increased. In both plots β diversity was significantly affected by geographical distance and topographic difference. Furthermore, the influence of geographical distance on β diversity showed a monotonic increase in both FDPs with increase in grain size. The effect of topography on β diversity was consistently larger in GTS than in BCI, and was manifested in GTS mainly through altitude and convexity at each grain size. Our results suggest the importance of both niche and dispersal processes in shaping β diversity patterns.

Key words: β diversity, subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, Gutianshan, tropical forest, Barro Colorado Island, topography, niche process, dispersal process