Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (4): 471-478.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014251

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial distribution of plant diversity and functional groups in the Liaohe estuary

Youzhi Li1,2,3, Lijuan Cui1,3,*(), Xu Pan1,3, Yu Ning1,3, Wei Li1,3, Xiaoming Kang1,3, Kai Li1,3, Baodi Sun1,3, Jingjing Yu1,3   

  1. 1 Institute of Wetland Research, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091 2 College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128 3 Beijing Key Laboratory of Wetland Services and Restoration, Beijing 100091
  • Received:2014-12-03 Accepted:2015-05-19 Online:2015-07-20 Published:2015-08-03
  • Contact: Cui Lijuan
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Abstract:

Liaohe estuary is a typical coastal wetland in Northeast China. Over the past decades, vegetation in this area suffered great change due to human disturbance. The spatial distribution of plant diversity and functional groups was examined in this coastal wetland. Results showed that species richness and Shannon-Wiener index were higher in supratidal zones than in intertidal zones. Compared to supratidal zones, intertidal zones had a higher ratio of halophytes and hygrophytes, but a lower ratio of neutral plants, glycophytes, mesophytes, and xerophytes. Species richness, Shannon-Wiener index, and the ratio of neutral plants, glycophytes, mesophytes, and xerophytes increased with the increasing distances from the coastline, while halophytes and hygrophytes decreased. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) indicated that plant communities mainly composed of neutral plants and glycophytes in supratidal zones, such as Phragmites australis, Cirsium setosum and Lagedium sibiricum, and halophytes mainly distributed in intertidal zones, such as Suaeda salsa, Scirpus planiculmis and Typha angustifolia. Salinity and water table appear to be the key factors in determining plant diversity and functional groups in the Liaohe estuary.

Key words: coastal wetlands, Shannon-Wiener index, halophyte, hygrophyte