Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (9): 23147.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023147

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial pattern of dominant species with different seed dispersal modes in a monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest in Pu’er, Yunnan Province

Minghui Wang1,2,3, Zhaoquan Chen1,3, Shuaifeng Li1,3, Xiaobo Huang1,3, Xuedong Lang1,3, Zihan Hu1,3, Ruiguang Shang1,3, Wande Liu1,3,4,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Highland Forest Science, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming 650224
    2. College of Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037
    3. Pu’er Forest Ecosystem Research Station, National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China, Kunming 650224
    4. Pu’er Forest Ecosystem Observation and Research Station of Yunnan Province, Kunming 650224
  • Received:2023-05-09 Accepted:2023-08-23 Online:2023-09-20 Published:2023-10-13
  • Contact: *E-mail:


Aim: Multiple processes such as habitat filtering, dispersal restriction, and intra-/interspecific interactions within and between species could affect the spatial distribution patterns and population structure of species. Studying how species are distributed in space, as well as their connections with environmental factors, is valuable for revealing the maintenance mechanism that uphold biodiversity and to exploring the ecological process of community succession.

Method: The monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest, representative of a zonal vegetation type, serves as an important subject for studying the species patterns within the interlacing area between tropical and subtropical zones. Using point pattern analysis on survey data from a 30-ha dynamics plot in the monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest in Pu’er, we examined the scale-changing spatial distribution patterns of three dominant species (Castanopsis echidnocarpa, Anneslea fragransand Betula alnoides), each with distinct seed dispersal modes. Concurrently, we scrutinized the effects of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal restriction on the spatial distribution patterns of species, as well as the intra-/interspecific associations between different life stages.

Results: The results showed that C. echidnocarpa and A. fragrans were commonly distributed on the ridges and hillsides, with less frequent occurrence in the valleys, whereas B. alnoides predominantly thrived on hillsides. Under the complete randomness model, all three species displayed aggregated distribution patterns across all scales. With the degree of aggregation decreasing as the spatial scale increased. Upon accounting for habitat heterogeneity, all the three species showed aggregated distribution only on small scale, transitioning to random or regular distribution on a large scale. Dispersal restrictions minimally effect the distribution pattern of C. echidnocarpa and A. fragrans, but significantly effect on the distribution pattern of B. alnoides. Regarding the spatial association among different age classes within species, significant correlations were observed for all growth stages of C. echidnocarpa and A. fragrans, whereas such correlations were less pronounced for B. alnoides. In terms of interspecific correlation, C. echidnocarpaplayed a positively correlation with A. fragrans and a negatively correlation with B. alnoides. Meanwhile, A. fragrans showed both positive and negative correlations with B. alnoides.

Conclusion: Our study underscores that species spatial distribution patterns arise from a complex interplay between species attributes and environmental conditions. The combined influence of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal restriction emerges as the primary determinant shaping species spatial distribution.

Key words: monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest, point pattern analysis, habitat heterogeneity, seed dispersal restrictions, intra-/interspecific associations