Biodiv Sci ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 23393.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023393

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Habitat association and community classification of woody plants in the 20 ha forest dynamics plot of subtropical semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Jizu Mountains, Yunnan

Churan Zhang1,2, Shengfa Li3, Fengchang Li3, Zhizhong Tang3, Huiyan Liu3, Lihong Wang3, Rong Gu2, Yun Deng2,4,*(), Zhiming Zhang1,5, Luxiang Lin2,4   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory for Transboundary Ecosecurity of Southwest China of Ministry of Education, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091
    2 Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Scicences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303
    3 Yujin’an State-owned Forest Farm, Dali, Yunnan 671009
    4 National Forest Ecosystem Research Station at Xishuangbanna, Mengla, Yunnan 666303
    5 School of Ecology and Environmental Science & Yunnan Key Laboratory for Plateau Mountain Ecology and Restoration of Degraded Environments, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091
  • Received:2023-10-18 Accepted:2023-11-30 Online:2024-01-20 Published:2023-12-22
  • Contact: *E-mail:


Aims: In western China, the subtropical semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forest in Dali is one of zonal vegetation areas, with the largest continuous distribution in the Jizu Mountains. This study surveys the species composition, habitat association, and community types within a 20 ha forest dynamics plot, in order to lay a scientific foundation for the study of community assembly mechanisms and species coexistence within the subtropical semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forests, and to provide a theoretical basis for biodiversity conservation in this kind of vegetational zone.

Methods: In 2021-2022, applying the protocol set forth by CTFS-ForestGEO, we established a 20 ha subtropical semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forest dynamics plot in the Yujin’an State-owned Forest Farm in Dali, Yunnan Province. In this plot, all free-standing woody plants with DBH ≥ 1 cm were tagged, measured, and identified at the species level. Using the collected data, we analyzed floristic composition, community classification via a multivariate regression tree, and habitat association based on the spatial point pattern method.

Results: In the allotted zone, there were 43,424 individuals with DBH ≥ 1 cm, spanning 31 families with 57 genera and specific 92 species. The areal-type of families were predominantly tropical, which accounted for 67.7% of families; the areal-type of genera were predominantly temperate, which accounted for 50.9% of genera; and the areal-type of species were predominantly endemic (to China), which accounted for 42.4% of species. Among 52 targeted species, 44 had significant positive associations with at least one habitat and 35 had significant negative associations with at least one habitat. The habitat type with the largest amount of species significantly associated was low-altitude valleys. Within the forest dynamics plot, the community type was mainly affected by convexity and altitude, and could be divided into three associations: (1) Ligustrum delavayanum+Camellia yunnanensis-Lithocarpus dealbatus+Schima argenteaAssociation; (2) Lyonia ovalifolia+Pieris Formosa-Schima argentea+Lithocarpus dealbatusAssociation; (3) Craibiodendron yunnanense+Vaccinium duclouxii-Lithocarpus dealbatus+Schima argenteaAssociation.

Conclusion: Semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forest is the representative vegetation of the plot, which is the horizontal zonal vegetation within the subtropical zone in western China. The vast majority of 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. Topography dominates the classification of community types.

Key words: floristic composition, habitat association, multivariate regression tree, community classification, subtropical semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forest, Jizhu Mountains