Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2009, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (3): 460-468.doi: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2009.03.005

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

PATCH STRUCTURE AND COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS OF LARIX CHINENSIS FOREST ON MT. TAIBAI, CHINA

DUAN Ren-Yan1,2; WANG Xiao-An2; HUANG Min-Yi1; WANG Zhi-Gao1; WANG Chao2   

  1. 1 Department of Life Sciences, Anqing Teachers College, Anqing, Anhui 246011, China; 2 College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China
  • Online:2009-05-31 Published:2009-05-31
  • Contact: DUAN Ren-Yan

Abstract: Aims According to forest-growth-cycle theory, forest communities are dynamic, mosaic systems composed of patches in different developmental phases. Our purposes were to describe the patch mosaic patterns, quantify the distribution patterns of different patch types and compare the species composition and similarities of different patch types in the forest cycle.
Methods We recognized four distinct growth phases or patch types in Larix chinensis forest on Mt. Taibai, China and studied patterns of patch mosaics and changes in species diversity. We measured and analyzed diurnal changes in light and temperature regimes in different patch types.
Important findings The percentages of different patch types were gap phase 40.3%, building phase 34.0%, mature phase 17.2% and degenerate phase 8.5%. Environmental factors changed significantly, both diurnally and during the forest cycle. Light intensity and soil surface temperature changed more in the gap phase than the other three phases. There were significant differences in tree densities in the forest growth cycle. Average diameter at breast height (DBH), height, basal area, volume per individual and stand volume all increased during the forest cycle. Changes of species diversity with the forest growth cycle showed a wave-like pattern. The theories of natural disturbance and patch dynamics have dramatically advanced our knowledge of biodiversity maintenance.

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