Biodiv Sci ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 643-653.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.11053

• Research Report • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Community dynamics of a montane Fagus engleriana-Cyclobalanopsis multiervis mixed forest in Shennongjia, Hubei, China

Jielin Ge1,2, Gaoming Xiong1, Longqiang Deng3, Changming Zhao1, Guozhen Shen1, Zongqiang Xie1,*()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 Administration Bureau of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve, Shennongjia, Hubei 442421
  • Received:2012-02-12 Accepted:2012-08-26 Online:2012-11-20 Published:2013-01-04
  • Contact: Zongqiang Xie


Montane evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forests are some of the main vegetation types in China. Specifically, the Fagus-Cyclobalanopsis mixed forest is a dominant forest community in the mountainous region of Shennongjia. Using three datasets (2001, 2006, and 2010) from a permanent 120 m × 80 m plot in the montane evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Shengnongjia, we analyzed the dynamics of tree species composition and community structure for individual trees (DBH ≥ 4 cm). We found that total species number increased from 81 in 2001 to 84 in 2006, and then decreased to 83 in 2010. Dominant species remained constant throughout the study period, including Cyclobalanopsis multiervis, Fagus engleriana, Rhododendron hypoglaucum and Lithocarpus henryi. Stem number and basal area followed the same trend with an initial increase, followed by a decline. The mortality and recruitment of this survey plot changed substantially over the nine-year study period. Although an ice storm in 2008 had some impact on the community, the species richness and community structure did not alter significantly and the community appeared to be in a state of dynamic equilibrium with strong resilience to external disturbances.

Key words: biodiversity monitoring, mortality and recruitment, ice-storm, forest dynamics, zonal vegetation