Biodiv Sci ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (1): 41-47.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.07109

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The ecological response of fern diversity to different slopes in Gudoushan Nature Reserve, Guangdong

Yuehong Yan1, Zuxia He1, Hu Yuan3, Fuwu Xing2*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan, Hunan 411201

    2South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650

    3Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2010-04-30 Revised:2011-01-06 Online:2011-01-20 Published:2011-04-01
  • Contact: Fuwu Xing

Abstract: In order to examine the effect of slope differences on fern diversity, we chose 10 plots (5×5 m2 for each plot) on east-, west-, south-, and north-facing slopes, with altitudes ranging from 20 to 986 m in Gu-doushan Nature Reserve, Xinhui, Guangdong, China. We obtained the following results: (1) Species abun-dance on the east- and north-facing slopes were high, while that on the west- and south-facing slopes were low. (2) Similarity indices of ferns in different slope orientations were low (<0.5), which suggested that ori-entation significantly influenced fern diversity. The difference between the south- and north-facing slopes (similarity index, 0.2895) and the similarity between west- and south-facing slopes (similarity indices, up to 0.4643) were the most obvious. (3) Tropical ferns were dominant in sunny slopes, while non-tropical ferns were dominant in shady slopes. The percentage of tropical ferns on the south-, west-, east-, and north-facing slopes decreased, while that of non-tropical ferns increased. (4) Shade ferns were dominant in shady slopes, while sunny ferns were dominant in sunny slopes; the number of shade ferns regularly increased on the south-, west-, east-, and north-facing slopes. These results clearly indicated how light and heat on different slopes affected fern diversity and suggested that fern diversity could be a good indicator of environmental and climatic changes.

Key words: Altai Montain, butterfiles, fauna, vertical distribution

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