Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (3): 275-284.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016180

• Special Feature: Biodiversity Monitoring • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Species composition and community structure of a 6-ha subtropical evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest dynamics plot in the Qizimei Mountains, Hubei Province

Liangjin Yao1, Lan Yao2, Yongmei Yi2, Xunru Ai2, Guang Feng3, Juncheng Liu2, Yong Lin2, Wei Huang2, Yi Ding1,4,*(), Runguo Zang1,4   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment of State Forestry Administration, Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091
    2 School of Forestry and Horticulture, Hubei University for Nationalities, Enshi, Hubei 445000
    3 College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
    4 Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Sounthern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037
  • Received:2016-07-04 Accepted:2016-11-04 Online:2017-03-20 Published:2017-04-07
  • Contact: Ding Yi


The subtropical evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest (SEDBMF) is one of the most important forest vegetation types in subtropical mountainous regions. It can provide an important foundation to maintain regional ecological security and conserve biodiversity. To further explore maintenance mechanisms of species diversity in SEDBMF, a 6-ha forest dynamics plot was established in Hubei Qizimei Mountains National Nature Reserve, western Hubei Province in 2015. All living woody stems with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥ 1 cm were tagged, identified, measured, and mapped according to the methods of CTFS (Center for Tropical Forest Science). Community composition, diameter class structure, and characteristics of the spatial structure of dominant species were analyzed. Results showed that there were in total 50,316 stems and 36,596 independent individuals, belonging to 245 species 124 genera 57 families. Seven species that are national protected plants and 76 rare species (density ≤ 1 stem/ha) occurred in this plot. Among those stems, 61.2% of total species and 52.6% of the total stems were deciduous tree species. The structure of DBH size-classes of all stems showed a reverse “J” shape. The average stem DBH was 4.38 cm and there were only 175 stems with DBH ≥ 30 cm in this plot. The top four dominant species in the plot were Carpinus fargesiana, Cyclobalanopsis multinervis, Daphniphyllum macropodum, and Liquidambar acalycina. They nearly distributed all around the plot but large size trees (DBH ≥ 10 cm) showed relatively different spatial distributions. Based on community composition and stem size structure, the Qizimei Mountains forest dynamics plot belongs to the middle stage of secondary forests after anthropogenic disturbance. Consequently, monitoring long-term forest dynamics in this plot will promote a deeper understanding of community assemblage rules and maintenance mechanisms of species diversity during the natural recovery process in SEDBMF.

Key words: forest, species diversity, structure of stem size class, spatial distribution, dominant species