Biodiv Sci ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 358-365.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13202

Special Issue: 生物多样性与生态系统功能

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recovery dynamics of secondary forests with different disturbance intensity in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve

Yuanjie Xu1,2(), Dunmei Lin2, Xiangcheng Mi2, Haibao Ren2, Keping Ma2   

  1. 1. Yunnan Academy of Biodiversity, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224
    2. State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2013-09-17 Accepted:2014-02-22 Online:2014-05-20 Published:2014-06-04


Understanding the underlying processes of secondary forest recovery after disturbances such as logging is essential for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem rehabilitation. We surveyed 12 forest plots (1 ha in size) with different extents of anthropogenic disturbances in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve and explored the community dynamics of secondary forest recovery by applying multivariate statistical ana- lysis. We found significant differences in community composition among various recovery phases, whereas high similarities of community composition were observed within the same recovery phase. No significant difference in species richness was observed among recovery stages, but species richness tended to increase during the recovery process. Species evenness in Chinese fir forests was relatively low whereas no significant difference occurred in other forests. The main differences in community composition and species diversity were found in the canopy layer. Respective indicator species were found in shrubs and regeneration layers during different recovery phases. The most representative indicator species were deciduous shrubs or heliophilous trees for plantation forests of Chinese fir, evergreen shrubs or small trees for young secondary forests, sub-canopy evergreen trees for old secondary forests, and canopy species for old-growth forests, respectively. Overall, species diversity recovered rigorously. Also the life-form composition of saplings in the same recovery phase presented consistent trends in spite of complex and unpredictable changes in species composition during the recovery process.

Key words: secondary forest recovery, evergreen broad-leaved forests, community composition, species diversity, anthropogenic disturbances, Gutianshan National Nature Reserve