Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2009, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 852-859.doi: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2009.05.003

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF LIANAS AND ITS RESPONSE TO ANTHROPOGENIC DISTURBANCES IN MOIST EVERGREEN BROAD-LEAVED FORESTS IN THE AILAO MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHWESTERN CHINA

YUAN Chun-Ming1,2,4; LIU Wen-Yao1,3*;LI Xiao-Shuang1;YANG Guo-Ping1   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China;2Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;3Curtin University of Technology, Perth WA 6845, Australia; 4Yunnan Academy of Forestry, Kunming 650204, China
  • Online:2009-09-30 Published:2009-09-30
  • Contact: LIU Wen-Yao

Abstract: Aims Lianas (woody vines) are important floristic and ecological elements in forests throughout the world, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. However, ecological studies on lianas are relatively scarce because field research is difficult. Our objectives were to develop liana biomass regression models, examine liana biomass composition and distribution in a natural moist evergreen broad-leaved forest, and assess the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on the biomass of lianas.
Methods We compared power functional models for biomass of canopy lianas (length ≥5.0 m) and understory lianas (length <5.0 m) based on 48 samples of lianas, using variables of basal diameter, length, and squared basal diameter × length. In the Ailao Mountains of southwestern China, we established three 20 ×20 m sample plots in each of a natural undisturbed moist evergreen broad-leaved primary forest and four secondary forests: old (100 a) and younger (50 a) secondary Lithocarpus forests, a Populus bonatii secondary forest and an Alnus nepalensis secondary forest. In each plot, we enumerated all liana stems ≥0.5 m in length (from the roots) and measured their basal diameters (30 cm along the stem from roots).
Important findings The regression model developed by liana basal diameters had the highest correlation coefficients and is preferred for practical use because measurement of liana basal diameter is easy and accurate. The total aboveground biomass of lianas in the natural moist evergreen broad-leaved forest was 9.82×103 kg·hm–2 99.70% of which was canopy lianas. Anthropogenic disturbances result in the decrease of liana biomass. The biomass of understory lianas was relatively greater in younger secondary forests, but the biomass of lianas (especially large canopy lianas) was significantly lower. The aboveground biomass of lianas in the old secondary Lithocarpus forest was 91.03% of that of the natu-ral moist evergreen broad-leaved forest, after about 100 years of restoration succession.

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