Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (8): 940-947.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015349

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Examination of edge effects in a Cryptomeria fortunei plantation in Zhougong Mountain, western Sichuan

Deyi Wang1,2, Jianfeng Hao1,*(), Yan Li1, Jinqiu Qi1, Zengli Pei1, Yujia Huang1, Qian Jiang1, Ya Chen1   

  1. 1 College of Forestry, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130
    2 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2015-12-10 Accepted:2015-12-10 Online:2016-08-20 Published:2016-09-02
  • Contact: Hao Jianfeng


To investigate edge effects on community structure, species composition and diversity in an artificial forest, research was conducted on Zhougong Mountain, a forest park in western Sichuan, and a large fragmented plantation of Cryptomeria fortunei was selected as the sample plot. The average DBH (diameter at breast height), average height, average density, richness index (D) and Shannon-Wiener index (H) were used to evaluate edge effects. Based on a field survey, 5 transects (width = 10 m) were established from the edge to interior forest (gradient 1 to gradient 5), and 4 small plots (10 m × 10 m) were chosen in each transect using a random sampling method. Results showed that 111 species, belonging to 96 genera and 54 families were recorded in 20 small plots with a total area of 2,000 m2. The following results were also found in this investigation: (1) The number of species decreased away from the edge to forest interior. (2) In terms of community structure, a decrease of average DBH was found in the tree layer with the increase of edge gradients. Average density followed the opposite pattern and no significant differences were found in average height. In the shrub layer, average density decreased with the increase of edge gradients and no significant differences were found in average height. Average density and height both decreased from the edge to interior forest in the herb layer. (3) Based on the analysis of species diversity, richness index (D) and Shannon-Wiener index (H) of the plantation, decreased values were generally found with an increase of edge gradients, and were much more obvious in the shrub and herb layer. Moreover, the number of common species and Sørensen’s similarity coefficient between edge gradients in the forest interior and edge 1 both showed a decreasing trend from the edge to interior forest. (4) Based on a comprehensive analysis, a clear change of community was found between edge 2 and edge 3, indicating that edge effects can reach 20 m into the fragmented patch of the Cryptomeria fortunei plantation.

Key words: edge effect, Cryptomeria fortunei plantation, species diversity, community structure, species composition