Biodiv Sci ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (3): 327-334.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.08166

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Ground bryophyte diversity in secondary birch forests in western Sichuan, China

Xiaoli Yan, Weikai Bao*()   

  1. Key Laboratory of Ecological Restoration, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041
  • Received:2010-06-24 Accepted:2010-10-29 Online:2011-05-20 Published:2013-12-10
  • Contact: Weikai Bao


Secondary birch (Betula spp.) forest is an important vegetation type in western Sichuan, China. These forests have naturally regenerated from primary fir (Abies spp.) forests after clear-cutting. However, little is known about ground bryophyte species composition and community structure during this succession sequence. In our study, we sampled three plots in 9-, 22-, and 42-year old secondary forests, and a primary fir forest, respectively, in Jinchuan County. We found that bryophyte coverage in different aged secondary forests was similar, but communities in the individual forests differed in dominant species composition. Compared with the primary forest, the secondary forests had lower coverage but higher species richness. As for the secondary forests, 9- and 22-year old forests had higher species richness than the 42-year old forest. Similarity coefficients among secondary forests ranged between 0.24-0.50. In contrast, 22- and 42-year old secondary forests exhibited lower similarity coefficients when compared with the primary forest. There were 25 bryophyte species shared by the primary forest and secondary forests, accounting for 71% of the species occurring in the primary fir forest. Our results indicated that naturally regenerated birch forests can harbor more bryophyte species than the spruce plantation. However, there was about 29% bryophyte species failed to recover in the natural recovery process.

Key words: birch forests, cutovers, naturally regenerated, bryophyte diversity, subalpine forests