Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (3): 350-357.

• Original Papers •

Interspecific association of woody plant species and community stability in the Eleutharrhena macrocarpa habitat

Shuaifeng Li1,2,Xuedong Lang1,2,Xiaobo Huang1,2,Wande Liu1,2,Jianrong Su1,2,*(),Chonghua Xu3,Zhihong Li3,Fandi Xu4

1. 1. Research Institute of Resource Insects, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming 650224
2. The Puer Forest Ecosystem Research Station, National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China, Kunming 650224
3. Administration of Taiyanghe Provincial Nature Reserve, Puer, Yunnan 665000
4. Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201
• Received:2019-03-21 Accepted:2019-06-01 Online:2020-03-20 Published:2019-10-22
• Contact: Jianrong Su

Abstract:

Eleutharrhena macrocarpa, an endangered liana species, experiences population regeneration barriers in natural environments. Due to its endangered status, this species has been heavily researched to understand the mechanisms behind its rarity. In this study, we studied E. macrocarpa populations in the tropical seasonal rainforest of Taiyanghe Provincial Nature Reserve in Pu’er City, Yunnan Province to find successful protecting methods for a wild plant species with extremely small populations. Utilizing various community stability and interspecific competition metrics (the Godron stability index, Chi-square analysis, Pearson correlation), the results showed that the woody plant populatios of tree layer indicated significant positive correlation based on the value of variance ratio more than one (test statistic W > χ0.05(29)). Similarly, the woody plant populations of shrub layer indicated that no significant negative correlation and the variance ratio is less than 1 (χ0.95(29) < W < χ0.05(29)). Further, Chi-square test indicated that no association species pairs represented the most populations in the tree and shrub layer, and the ratios of positive and negative correlations were 0.238 and 0.279, respectively. Simultaneously, association coefficient suggested that significant and extremely significant negative species pairs were more than positive species pairs, while Pearson correlation coefficient indicated that the ratios of the positive and negative correlation were 0.376 and 0.511, respectively. We found that the association relationship of most species pairs showed no significant correlation, which mean a relative stronger interspecific independence. Eleutharrhena macroarpa population has similar adaptive niche with most woody plant populations in the tree layer, and they survived together through effective resource utilization. However, Eleutharrhena macrocarpa population had stronger competition with some species in the shrub layer. In addition, intersection point of community stability (33.92, 66.07) in the vegetative community of Eleutharrhena macrocarpa habitat suggested that the community displayed a better stability. The stronger interspecific competition between dominant species and other species also suggested the vulnerability of tropical seasonal rain forest. Therefore, strict protection of the habitat was crucial to the regeneration of Eleutharrhena macrocarpa population and biodiversity conservation.