Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (11): 1179-1188.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0192

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Community characteristics and spatial distribution of dominant tree species in a deciduous broad-leaved forest of Muzhaling, Henan, China

Yun CHEN1,*, Ting WANG1,*, Pei-Kun LI2, Cheng-Liang YAO3, Zhi-Liang YUAN2, Yong-Zhong YE2,**()   

  1. 1College of Forestry, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China

    2College of Life Sciences, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
    3Wumasi Forestry Farm in Songxian, Luoyang, Henan 471400, China
  • Received:2016-06-06 Accepted:2016-09-21 Online:2016-11-10 Published:2016-11-25
  • Contact: Yun CHEN,Ting WANG,Yong-Zhong YE


Aims The objective of this paper is to quantify the species composition and spatial distribution pattern in a deciduous broad-leaved forest in temperate to subtropical ecological transition zone.
Methods In this study, a 3-hm2 forest was selected in the temperate to subtropical ecological transition zone to analyze the community species composition, structure of diameter at breast height, community classification and spatial distribution pattern of dominant tree species.
Important findings Our results showed that in the plot there were 85 species, 52 genera and 31 families, mainly composed of Betulaceae, Celastraceae, Caprifoliaceae, Salicaceae and Aceraceae. Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata and Pinus armandii are dominant species of the community tree layer. The rare species and occasional species accounted for 20.0% and 28.24% of total species respectively. Size distribution of all species showed an invert J-shape, which indicates that the community is in a stable and normal growth status. Using multiple regression trees, the community in this plot can be divided into four categories: 1) Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata + Pinus armandii + Litsea tsinlingensis + Cerasus clarofolia + Lindera obtusiloba; 2) Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata + Salix chaenomeloides + Sorbus hupehensis; 3) Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata + Ailanthus altissima + Cerasus clarofolia + Litsea tsinlingensis; 4) Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata + Fraxinus chinensis + Litsea tsinlingensis + Philadelphus incanus. Under the completely random distribution model, the main species in the plot display clustered distributions, with the different species occurring in different habitat types, showing obvious terrain habitat preferences. However, under the heterogeneous Poisson distribution model, these species at different scales are distributed randomly or regularly. This study helps to understand the plant community species composition of the Muzhaling World Geopark, community structure and community distribution. The results show that the terrain habitat heterogeneity is an important factor influencing the spatial distribution of the species. The present work improves the understanding of plant community in Muzhaling World Geopark, and provides technical reference for biodiversity conservation and forest management of this area.

Key words: forest dynamics plot, community structure, multivariate regression tree, point pattern, topography habitat heterogeneity