Biodiv Sci ›› 2008, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (1): 15-23.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.07145

• Original article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Biological and ecological characteristics ofHopea chinensis, a plant endemic to Guangxi

Shixun Huang*(), Hong Chen, Wenxiu Tang, Wenhua Luo, Yan Wang   

  1. Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuangzu Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guilin 541006
  • Received:2007-06-08 Accepted:2007-10-10 Online:2008-01-27 Published:2008-01-27
  • Contact: Shixun Huang

Abstract:

Hopea chinensis, an important species of seasonal rainforests, is well-known for its timber quality and has a scattered distribution only in Shiwandashan Mountain of Guangxi. To obtain basic information of H. chinensis, we carried out field surveys on the geographic distribution, population structure, and biological characteristics related to phenology. Meanwhile, seeds of H. chinensis were collected for germination and growth experiments. In addition, we briefly discussed the factors causing this species to be endangered and put forward likely conservation strategies. The results indicated that H. chinensis showed a population growth form in general, but being stable in some studied sites. The size distribution of the natural population presented a clumped pattern and shifted to a random pattern with the increase of size classes. The competition in seedlings and saplings ofH. chinensis was more intensive than that in adults. And intraspecific competition contributed higher to the total competition index (CI) than interspecific competition. The seedlings of H. chinensis growed slowly and the fast growth rate occurred in the rainy season. Moreover, the onset for seedlings to begin flower and set fruits was different in different cultivated sites. Seeds ofH. chinensis are not easily to be preserved because of germination in a short time after maturity. We concluded that suitable habitat loss and accordingly decrease of the population size and scale resulted from human activity were the main factors responsible for the endangerment of H. chinensis. Intensively, short seed life span and slow growth could account for low restoration rate of H. chinensis once degraded.

Key words: endangered plant, Hopea chinensis, biological characteristics, spatial pattern, population structure, competition