Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2003, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (4): 496-502.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2003.0072

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Relationship Between Landform, Soil Characteristics and Plant Community Structure in the Donglingshan Mountain Region, Beijing

LIU Shi-Liang, MA Ke-Ming, FU Bo-Jie, KANG Yong-Xiang, ZHANG Jie-Yu, ZHANG Yu-Xin   

  • Online:2015-11-04 Published:2003-04-10
  • Contact: CHENG Xiao-Li


Biodiversity pattern impacts on flow of landscapes on different scales, and contrarily landscape and soil characteristics influence plant community structure. Variation in soil resource levels is common and important to plants. At larger spatial scales, the resources available to plants change as the soil type changes, and this variation effects the distribution of plant species. At smaller spatial scales, soil resources continue to show considerable spatial heterogeneity. Small-scale heterogeneity has large impact on performance of individual plants, and hence, on the structure and dynamics of plant populations and communities. It is important to examine their close relationships to understand the process of ecosystems. Many recent studies mainly concentrate on factors influencing plant in grassland or shrub land.The Donglingshan Mountain is an extension of Xiaowutaishan Mountains and belongs to the broader Taihangshan Mountains. The zonal vegetation of this region is highly fragmented warm temperate-zone deciduous broad-leaved forest. Focused on the landscape heterogeneity of this area, we investigated 76 plots of 20 m×20 m on a small watershed scale and analyzed the detailed community structure, landform and soil features.Using multivariate statistical analysis techniques (Principle Component Analysis, Cluster Analysis, Discriminant Analysis and Canonical Correlation Analysis), we examined the complex relationships between the soil properties, plant biodiversity and landscape factors. Soil organic matter is a sensitive factor of soil fertility and the coverage and richness of plants have different features under different soil fertilities. Three community types were distinguished by the arbor species characteristics. Twenty species existed in all plots of type III, but type I and II included sixteen species. The dominant species of type I was maple which accounts for 19.7% of total species in terms of importance value. Second was Quercus liaotungensis (19.1%). Type II included Q. liaotungensis (34.8%) and Betula dahurica (17.5%). Type III was B. dahurica (30.8%) and maple (21.6%). The results also show that high fertility plots often exist on the north-facing and upper slopes. Canonical correlation analysis was used as large numbers of variables were involved in this study. The analysis elucidated the relationships of three different indices (i.e. topography, soil and plant). Slope positions were closely related with tree layer coverage, while elevation was positively correlated with total nitrogen. The richness of tree layer in biodiversity factors had the greatest influence on soil organic matter.

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