Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (12): 1313-1320.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017076

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of geographical distance and differences in climate and altitude on species dissimilarity of vascular plant communities in the Dulongjiang River Watershed Area

Yang Meng1,2, Yue Qiu1,2, Liang Zhang1,3, Cuiling Wang1,2, Zhenhua Zang1,4, Xueyao Zhang1,2, Guozhen Shen1, Caifeng Yan1, Quansheng Chen1,3,*()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Liaoning Technical University, Fuxin, Liaoning 123000
    4 College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
  • Received:2017-11-23 Accepted:2017-11-26 Online:2017-12-20 Published:2017-12-10
  • Contact: Chen Quansheng


Species dissimilarity mainly reflects temporal and spatial variation in community composition. Its relationship with random and deterministic factors reveals community assembly, biodiversity formation, and maintenance mechanisms. In this study, we analyzed relationships between species dissimilarity of plant communities and influencing factors in the Dulongjiang River Watershed Area. Jaccard species dissimilarity, geographic distance, difference in climate (Mean Annual Temperature and Mean Annual Precipitation), and altitude between any two communities were calculated. Results showed that the species turnover rate varied from 0.42 to 1. Species turnover significantly linearly increased with Ln-transformed geographic distance and differences in climate and altitude. Results from partial regression analysis showed that these three kinds of factors together can explain nearly 30% of species differences of vascular plant communities in the Dulongjiang River Watershed Area; independent effects of geographical distance, elevation difference, and climatic differences were 18.80%, 3.47%, and 0.10%, respectively. Species dissimilarity in the Dulongjiang Watershed Area results from the combination of environmental and dispersal limitations, which plays an important role in the conservation of plant biodiversity in the Dulongjiang Watershed Area. When biodiversity conservation is undertaken in the area, on the basis of considering the impact of environmental factors, the effects of topographical barriers and dispersal abilities of propagules should be fully considered.

Key words: biological diversity, community assembly, dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, beta diversity, species turnover