Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (12): 1303-1312.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017140

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Biodiversity of natural vegetation and influencing factors in western Inner Mongolia

Chongyao Yang1, Engui Li1, Huiying Chen1, Jinghui Zhang2, Yongmei Huang1,*()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875
    2 School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021
  • Received:2017-05-12 Accepted:2017-12-01 Online:2017-12-20 Published:2017-12-10
  • Contact: Huang Yongmei


To determine biodiversity, 74 plant community plots were surveyed in western Inner Mongolia between 2012 and 2014. These samples were divided into four vegetation types, including temperate steppe, temperate shrub, meadow, and desert. Four biodiversity indices (Patrick index, Simpson index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou index) were calculated to show biodiversity differences among the four vegetation types. Climate and soil data were also collected over the course of the survey. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to reveal the relationship between biodiversity and environmental factors and stepwise regression analysis was used to determine dominant environmental factors. Results indicated that: (1) In western Inner Mongolia, biodiversity indices were different among the four vegetation types. Temperate steppe and meadow had similar values for biodiversity indices, and were also the highest amongst all vegetation types, while the lowest biodiversity was found in the desert. (2) Pearson correlation analysis showed that the Patrick index, Shannon-Wiener index, and Simpson index were all negatively and linearly correlated with mean annual temperature and potential evapotranspiration. (3) Among all chemical properties of the soil, pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen all influenced biodiversity indices. (4) Stepwise regression analysis showed that potential evapotranspiration and soil organic carbon were the most influential factors affecting the Patrick index and Shannon-Wiener index. The only dominant factor for the Simpson index was soil organic carbon while soil total nitrogen was most important factor for the Pielou index.

Key words: vegetation types, biodiversity, meteorological factors, soil chemical properties, western Inner Mongolia