Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 104-110.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00011

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Scale and density: measuring local neighborhood density at different spatial scales

WANG Xin-Ting1,2∗, LIANG Cun-Zhu1**, and WANG Wei1   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Huhhot 010021, China;

    2School of Energy and Power Engineering, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, Huhhot 010051, China
  • Received:2012-10-08 Revised:2012-11-28 Online:2013-01-31 Published:2013-02-01
  • Contact: LIANG Cun-Zhu


Aims Population density changes with spatial scales in plant communities. Surprisingly, few previous studies explored this theme, despite the possibility that variation in density with spatial scales should be significant for detecting ecological phenomena and answering ecological problems. In this study, we call variation in density with spatial scales (the local neighborhood density at different spatial scales) as scale density.
Methods O-Ring function can measure the local neighborhood density at different spatial scales. We used it to measure scale densities of Leymus chinensis, Agropyron michnoi and A. michnoi relative to L. chinensis in different restorative successional stages in steppe community in Inner Mongolia.
Important findings Local densities of two populations (L. chinensis and A. michnoi) were both higher in a degraded community than the other two restoration communities, which demonstrated the “stress gradient hypothesis” and further illustrated that the ecological phenomena were induced by facilitation. By comparing the scale densities of L. chinensis and A. michnoi relative to L. chinensis, we found that L. chinensis and A. michnoi were negatively associated as induced by facilitation in a degraded community, and positively associated as induced by competition in the other two restoration communities. Findings illustrate that analyzing the variation in the population density with spatial scales in plant communities is valuable in ecology.

[1] Bertness MD, Callaway RM(1994). Positive interactions in communities. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 9, 191-193. CrossRef
[2] Callaway RM(2007). Positive Interactions and Interdependence in Plant Communities. Springer, The Netherlands. CrossRef
[3] Callaway RM, Walker LR(1997). Competition and Facilitation: A Synthetic Approach to Interactions in Plant Communities. Ecology, 78, 1958-1965. CrossRef
[4] Galiano EF(1982). Pattern detection in plant populations through the analysis of plant-to-all-plants distances. Vegetatio, 49, 39-43. CrossRef
[5] Le Moine JM, Cheng JQ(陈吉泉)(2003). Placing our hypotheses and results in time and space. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica, 27, 1-10. CrossRef
[6] Ripley BD (1977). Modelling spatial pattern. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B, 39, 17-212. CrossRef
[7] Ripley BD(1981). Spatial Statistics. Wiley, New York. CrossRef
[8] Turkington R & Harper JL(1979). The growth, distribution and neighbour relationships of Trifolium repens: a permanent pasture. I. Ordination, pattern and contact. Journal of Ecology, 67, 201-218. CrossRef
[9] Wang MB(王孟本), Wu YL(毋月莲)(2004). English-Chinese Dictionary of Ecology(英汉生态学词典). Science Press, Beijing. (in Chinese) CrossRef
[10] Wang W (王炜), Liang CZ (梁存柱), Liu ZL (刘钟龄), Hao DY (郝敦元) (2000). Analysis of the plant individual behaviour during the degradation and restoring succession in steppe community. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica (植物生态学报), 24, 268-274. (in Chinese with English abstract) 摘要
[11] Wang W (王炜), Liu Z L (刘钟龄), Hao DY (郝敦元), Liang CZ (梁存柱) (1996a). Research on the restoring succession of the degenerated grassland in Inner Mongolia. I. Basic characteristics and driving force for restoration of the degenerated grassland. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica (植物生态学报), 20, 449-459. (in Chinese with English abstract) 摘要
[12] Wang W (王炜), Liu ZL (刘钟龄), Hao DY (郝敦元), Liang CZ (梁存柱) (1996b). Research on the restoring succession of the degenerated grassland in Inner Mongolia. II. Analysis of the restoring processes. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica (植物生态学报), 20, 460-471. (in Chinese with English abstract) 摘要
[13] Wang XT(王鑫厅), Hou YL(侯亚丽), Liu F(刘芳), Chang Y(常英), Wang W(王炜), Liang CZ(梁存柱), Miao BL(苗百岭)(2011). Point pattern analysis of dominant populations in a degraded community in Leymus chinensis + Stipa grandis steppe in Inner Mongolia, China. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology (植物生态学报), 35, 1281-1289. (in Chinese with English abstract) 摘要
[14] Wang XT (王鑫厅), Wang W (王炜), Liu JH (刘佳慧), Liang CZ (梁存柱), Zhang T (张韬) (2006). A new method for measure of plant population spatial patterns: photography orientation method. Journal of Plant Ecology (Chinese Version) (植物生态学报), 30, 571-575. (in Chinese with English abstract) 摘要
[15] Wiegand T, Gunatilleke S, Gunatilleke N(2007). Species associations in a heterogeneous Sri Lankan Dipterocarp forest. The American Naturalist, 170, 77-95. CrossRef
[16] Wiegand T, Moloney KA(2004). Ring, circles, and null-models for point pattern analysis in ecology. Oikos, 104, 209-229. CrossRef
[17] Yang C(杨持)(2008). Ecology(生态学). Higher Education Press, Beijing. (in Chinese) CrossRef
No related articles found!
Full text



[1] Cui Gao;Yuxia Chen;Ying Bao;Min Feng;Anming Lu. Studies on Sexual Organs and Embryological Development Morphology of Speirantha gardenii (Convallariaceae)[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2010, 45(06): 705 -712 .
[2] Jiang Gao-ming. The Impact of Globae Increasing of CO2 on Plants[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(04): 1 -7 .
[3] Zhang Jun Han Bi-wen. Advance in the Study of Histochemical Localization for[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(专辑3): 131 -142 .
[4] Tang Yan-cheng. A Short Guide to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature V.[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1984, 2(04): 51 -57 .
[5] Xu Ji. The Protective Protein of Nitrogenase Against Oxygen Damage-Fe-S Protein[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1986, 4(12): 1 -4 .
[6] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2001, 18(05): 633 .
[7] Huang Zhao-xiang;Zheng Zhen-gui and Zhu Du. Ecological Effect of Taxodium ascendens-Oryza sativa Ecosystem(I) The Growing Characteristic of Taxodium Ascendens in the Ecosystem[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1996, 13(02): 48 -51 .
[8] GU Rui-Sheng;LIU Qun-Lu;CHEN Xue-Mei and JIANG Xiang-Ning. Comparison and Optimization of the Methods on Protein Extraction and SDS-PAGE in Woody Plants[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1999, 16(02): 171 -177 .
[9] Jiang Gao-ming. LI-6400 Portable Photosynthesis System: Principle, Function, Basic Operation and Main Problems and Solutions During Measurement[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1996, 13(增刊): 72 -76 .
[10] Li Ling;Luo Yun-xiu;He Jian-hui and Pan Rui-chi. Promoting the Formation of Adventitious Roots in Cutting of Some Woody Plants by GL Reagent[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1996, 13(增刊): 63 -65 .