Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (4): 21356.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.20221356

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparative study of invasive and native herbs in natural forests and plantation forests: With Nonggang National Nature Reserve as an example

Chaodan Guo1,2, Caiyun Zhao1,*(), Feifei Li1, Junsheng Li1   

  1. 1 Institute of Ecology, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
    2 School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000
  • Received:2021-09-03 Accepted:2021-11-10 Online:2022-04-20 Published:2021-11-23
  • Contact: Caiyun Zhao


Aims: Presence of many invasive plants have seriously threaten the biodiversity in nature reserves. The abundance of species is recorded in the Nonggang National Nature Reserve, but the invasion of alien plants has posed a threat to biodiversity. Exploring the invasion status of alien plants in different habitats and their interspecific relationships with dominant native plants can help the reserve identify priority habitats for the prevention and management of invasive plant species, as well as help managers to prevent further spread of invasive species by regulating the interspecific relationships between invasive species and native plants.

Methods: The four habitats included in this study are: Bischofia javanica plantation forest, Dracontomelon duperreanumplantation forest, Dendrocalamus latiflorus natural forest, and Orophea polycarpa natural forest. Each of these habitats are located besides main traffic roads. In each habitat, we established a large sample plot of 10 m × 24 m, and 72 small quadrats of 1 m × 1 m were then set up at different distances from the roads in the large sample plot for vegetation surveys. The herbaceous species (including tree and shrub seedlings) in the 1 m × 1 m plots, as well as their number, height and cover were recorded. The diversity indices of invasive and native herbs, the niche width of invasive herbs, and their niche overlap and interspecific association indices with dominant native herbs were calculated and compared.

Results: A total of 6 invasive herbs were recorded in four habitats in the Nonggang National Nature Reserve, belonging to 3 families and 6 genera, with the most species in the family Asteraceae. The highest diversity of invasive alien herbs exhibited in the Bischofia javanica plantation forest, followed by the Dendrocalamus latiflorusnatural forest, the Dracontomelon duperreanum plantation forest, and then the Orophea polycarpa natural forest. Except for the richness of invasive herbs in the Orophea polycarpa natural forest, which indicated a significant positive correlation with the richness of native herbs, there were no significant correlations in all the other habitats. The niche width of Bidens pilosa was the largest, and it was the most widespread invasive herb in all four habitats. The niche overlap and interspecific association between the invasive herbs and the dominant native herbs in all four habitats were low, and the interspecific competition between the invasive herbs and the dominant native herbs was weak.

Conclusion: Our results provide a clear picture of the distribution of invasive herbs in the Nonggang National Nature Reserve and their interspecific relationships with native herbs.

Key words: invasive plant, habitat, diversity, niche width, niche overlap, interspecific association