Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (4): 393-400.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016296

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Characteristics and effects of sprouting on species diversity in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Gutianshan, East China

Duo Ye1, Ruirui Dong1, Xiangcheng Mi2, Wei Lu1, Zhenjie Zheng1, Mingjian Yu3, Jian Ni1, Jianhua Chen1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004
    2 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    3 College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058
  • Received:2016-10-12 Accepted:2017-03-30 Online:2017-04-20 Published:2017-04-20
  • Contact: Chen Jianhua


Sprouting, a life history strategy found in woody plant communities, enables woody plants to persist in situ through disturbance events. The ‘persistence niche’ of sprouting has important influences on species coexistence, community assembly, and ecosystem stability. However, the mechanism of the ‘persistence niche’ in maintaining species diversity is not well understood. Based on data collected in a 5 ha plot in a mid-subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Gutianshan National Natural Reserve of Zhejiang Province, China, we analyzed the characteristics of sprouting and their relationships with species diversity. Our results revealed that the sprouting species had a great proportion of 63.95% in richness and a high proportion of 38.53% in abundance, especially a higher abundance proportion of 59.51% of potential sprouting at the community level. Sprouting occurred in most taxa, and there was high ability of sprouting in Fagaceae, Ericaceae, Hamamelidaceae, and Theaceae. There were significant negative correlations between abundance proportion of sprouting species and the biodiversity index of the community, despite no relationships between richness proportion of sprouting species and biodiversity index. Therefore, the sprouters could retain their position in forests and reduce biodiversity of the forest community. This trade-off of sprouting may result in the maintenance of community stability.

Key words: sprouting, species composition, biodiversity, evergreen broad-leaved forest, persistence niche