Biodiv Sci ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (2): 23294.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023294

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Community composition and structure of a 25-ha forest dynamics plot of subtropical forest in Baishanzu, Zhejiang Province

Liu Xiaolin1,2, Wu Yougui3,*(), Zhang Minhua1,2,*(), Chen Xiaorong3, Zhu Zhicheng3, Chen Dingyun3, Dong Shu1,2, Li Buhang4, Ding Bingyang5, Liu Yu1,2   

  1. 1 ECNU-UAlberta Joint Lab for Biodiversity Study, School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
    2 Tiantong National Station for Forest Ecosystem Research, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315114
    3 Qingyuan Conservation Center of Qianjiangyuan-Baishanzu National Park, Qingyuan, Zhejiang 323808
    4 State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275
    5 College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035
  • Received:2023-08-15 Accepted:2024-01-14 Online:2024-02-20 Published:2024-03-01
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Aim This study surveys the species composition, floristic characteristics, size-class distribution and spatial distribution of dominant species within the subtropical evergreen forest of Baishanzu, Zhejiang Province, characterized by a complex community structure at medium-high altitudes, in order to lay a scientific foundation for the study of community assembly and species coexistence mechanisms.

Method Employing Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) and the China Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network protocols, we expanded the original 5-ha plot to a 25-ha forest dynamics plot within the Fengyangshan- Baishanzu National Nature Reserve in Qingyuan County, Zhejiang Province between 2014 and 2016. Surveying all woody plants with a stem diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥ 1 cm, we meticulously analyzed species composition, floristic characteristics, DBH class distribution, and spatial distributional patterns within the plot.

Results The plot harbored a total of 210,556 individuals of woody plants with DBH ≥ 1 cm, representing 163 species, 85 genera, and 43 families. Notably, tropical floristic elements dominated at the family level (20 families) compared to families with temperate features (17 families). At the genus level, however, the floristic characteristics of the plant community were more temperate (47 genera of temperate floristic elements versus 33 genera of tropical floristic elements). Rare and occasional species contributed significantly to species richness (35.58% and 25.77%, respectively). Evergreen species constituted 55.21% of the total species richness, with 25 species having high importance values (IV) ≥ 0.01, accounting for the majority of abundance (85.84%) and basal area (91.18%). Dominant species with the highest IV included Rhododendron latoucheae, Pinus taiwanensis, and Cunninghamia lanceolata. The plot exhibited successful regeneration, as indicated by an inverted “J” shaped diameter class distribution with a greater number of individuals in the smaller DBH classes. All the dominant species exhibited aggregated spatial distribution across scales (1-100 m) and exhibited habitat preferences.

Conclusion The majority of species presented in the forest dynamics plot are temperate floristic elements and evergreen species, which are the characteristics of medium-high altitude evergreen forest in East China. The dominant species in the plot have significant association with habitat, which suggests that habitat filtering plays an important role in the distribution of woody plants in this area.

Key words: Baishanzu Nature Reserve, forest dynamics plot, floristic composition, medium-high altitude evergreen forest, community structure