Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 690-700.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018092

Special Issue: 生物多样性与生态系统功能

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationship between plant functional diversity and productivity of Pinus massoniana plantations in Guangxi

Xiaorong Huang*()   

  1. Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Forestry Research Institute, Nanning 530002
  • Received:2018-03-27 Accepted:2018-06-03 Online:2018-07-20 Published:2018-09-11
  • Contact: Huang Xiaorong
  • About author:# Co-first authors


Understanding the relationship between plant diversity and productivity can provide essential information for forest management. We surveyed plant communities in Pinus massoniana dominated plantations from four regions of Guangxi. Using correlation analysis, automatic linear modeling and variance partitioning, we assessed the effect of species diversity, functional diversity, and functional dominance on productivity. We found that productivity was extremely positively correlated with species richness, Shannon index, functional richness and functional evenness (P < 0.01). Species evenness, RaoQ, functional dispersion, functional group richness and aspect were also positively correlated with productivity (P < 0.05), while forest age was negatively correlated with productivity (P < 0.01). Four functional diversity parameters positively correlated with four species-diversity indices. No evidence of negative density-dependence was found. In the best variance partitioning model, functional diversity parameters, functional dominance and forest age explained 56%, 43% and 33% of variance in productivity respectively; and the overlap between functional diversity parameters and functional dominance was up to 27%. Functional richness and functional evenness were major contributors of complementary effects while community weighted mean (CWM) of growth form contributed to selection effects. Plots identified as dominantly shrub had higher productivity than plots identified as dominantly herbs or trees, suggesting that subordinates and transients may have important effects on ecosystem functions. The best-fit subset model built by automatic linear modeling included forest age, growth form CWM, functional richness, functional evenness and functional group richness (FGR) indescending order. We recommend that to maintain diversity and forest function, protection of understory plant species should be strengthened. Further, to enhance productivity and biodiversity we recommend planting functionally important species through compensatory photosynthesis and growth competition in understorey layers.

Key words: functional diversity, functional dominance, productivity, forest age, functional group richness