Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 959-965.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017053

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of negative density dependence and habitat filtering on the functional diversity of seedlings in the subtropical forest of Gutianshan

Yunfeng Song1,3#, Shengwen Chen2#, Wei Wang3, Jianping Yu2, Haiyuan Qian2, Yunquan Wang3, Lei Chen3, Xiangcheng Mi3,*(), Haibao Ren3, Duo Ye1, Jianhua Chen1,*(), Keping Ma3   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321004
    2 Ecological Resource Protection Center, Qianjiangyuan National Park, Kaihua, Zhejiang 324300
    3 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2017-02-21 Accepted:2017-06-08 Online:2017-09-20 Published:2017-10-04
  • Contact: Mi Xiangcheng,Chen Jianhua
  • About author:# Co-first authors


How forest communities maintain their biodiversity has been challenged ecologists during the last few decades. Negative density-dependence and habitat filtering have been proposed as key players in community assembly. However, few studies have explored how negative density dependence and habitat filtering impact seedling dynamics over time. To test the relative roles of these two mechanisms in community assembly, we analyzed the temporal trends of functional α and β diversity in seedling communities in the 24 ha Gutianshan forest dynamics plot during 2006-2007. We found that functional α diversity within communities significantly increased over time except for functional α diversity associated with stomatal density. Functional β diversity significantly increased with time for five traits (such as wood density, specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen content, leaf phosphorus content and stomatal density) between communities. Our results suggest that negative density dependence can promote functional α diversity at local scales, while habitat filtering can partly explain functional β diversity.

Key words: subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, seedling, Gutianshan, functional alpha diversity, functional beta diversity, community assembly