Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (11): 1147-1157.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018135

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Composition and interannual dynamics of tree seedlings in a secondary forest in montane region of eastern Liaoning Province, China

Junqi Cai1, Dapeng Liu2, Shuyuan Zhang1, Guo Zong1, Jia Liu1, Xuejiao Bai1,3,*()   

  1. 1 College of Forestry, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866
    2 Benxi Manzu Autonomous County Lanhe Valley Forest Farm, Benxi, Liaoning 117103
    3 Qingyuan Forest Ecosystem Observation Station, Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016
  • Received:2018-05-04 Accepted:2018-08-18 Online:2018-11-20 Published:2019-01-08
  • Contact: Bai Xuejiao
  • About author:# Co-first authors


To explore the composition and interannual dynamics of tree seedlings in the montane region of eastern Liaoning Province in China, we established 1,600 seedling quadrats of size 5 m × 5 m (25 m2) within a 4-ha plot to monitor forest dynamics. We analyzed species composition, height-class structure, interannual dynamics and spatial distribution of tree seedlings from three censuses (2014 to 2016). We recorded a total of 22 species of tree seedlings during the survey period. The species composition of tree seedlings did not vary significantly among years, but varied greatly among quadrats. Species that dominated as seedlings largely reflected the dominant species among adults. Tree seedling numbers varied significantly among different tree species across years, with Fraxinus rhynchophylla, Acer mono and Juglans mandshurica accounting for 75.6% of the total seedlings in the three censuses. The abundances of F. rhynchophylla and J. mandshurica seedlings varied greatly among three years, while the other species varied little. Similarly, seedling density also varied greatly among different species. We also found interspecific and interannual variation in new seedling recruits and those that died. Recruit abundance during 2014-2015 (3,888) was higher than 2015-2016 (1,710), and the seedling mortality rate was also higher in 2014-2015 (23.7%) than 2015-2016 (12.7%). The mortality rate of recruited seedlings (18.8%) was higher than that of existing seedlings (8.1%) during 2015-2016. Finally, we found that the dominant seedlings showed spatially clustered distributions and the spatial pattern of seedling distributions was consistent with that of adults of the species.

Key words: forest regeneration, interannual dynamics, spatial distribution, montane region of eastern Liaoning Province, secondary forest