Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (4): 342-351.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0310

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influences of stand, soil and space factors on spatial heterogeneity of leaf area index in a spruce-fir valley forest in Xiao Hinggan Ling, China

YANG Huan-Ying1,SONG Jian-Da1,ZHOU Tao1,JIN Guang-Ze2,3,JIANG Feng2,LIU Zhi-Li2,3,*()   

  1. 1 School of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
    2 Center for Ecological Research, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
    3 Key Laboratory of Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Management-Ministry of Education, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
  • Received:2018-12-07 Revised:2019-04-16 Online:2019-04-20 Published:2019-05-30
  • Contact: LIU Zhi-Li
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31600587);the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation(2016M590271);the Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Foundation(LBH-TZ1802)

Abstract:

AimsSpatial heterogeneity of leaf area index (LAI) is very important for exploring the growth and spatial distributions of plants, as well as response strategy of plants to climate changes. Many previous studies have shown that biotic and abiotic factors had significant influences on spatial heterogeneity of LAI. However, few studies have been conducted to show the relative contributions of different influencing factors to the total variations of LAI. Our aim was to quantify the relative contributions of stand, soil and space factors to the total spatial variations of LAI in a spruce-fir valley forest in northeast China.
MethodsWe relied on a 9.12 hm 2 (380 m × 240 m) spruce-fir valley forest plot in Xiao Hinggan Ling, China, which was divided into 228 subplots (20 m × 20 m). First, we measured LAI for each subplot by using the LAI-2200 plant canopy analyzer and then analyzed the spatial heterogeneity of LAI using geo-statistic methods (semivariogram and Kriging interpolation). Second, we measured 28 stand factors and 10 soil factors for each subplot, and quantified space factors using principal coordinates of neighbor matrices (PCNM). Finally, we quantified the relative contributions of stand, soil and space factors to the total spatial variations of LAI using the variance partitioning method.
Important findings The results showed that strong spatial autocorrelations of LAI values within 37 m distances in the spruce-fir valley forest, and the LAI presented different spatial patterns along distinct directions. The stand, soil and space factors totally explained 50.4% of the total spatial variations of LAI in the forest plot. The space factors explained greater spatial variations of LAI in relative to stand and soil factors, and solely explained 25.5% of the total spatial variations. The density of middle tree group (5 cm < diameter at breast height ≤ 10 cm) and basal area of major tree groups (including Abies nephrolepis and Picea spp.) were both significantly and positively correlated with LAI; and soil mass moisture content was significantly and negatively correlated with LAI. These results generally suggest that the spatial autocorrelation is more important than stand factor and soil factor for determining spatial heterogeneity of LAI of the spruce-fir valley forest in Xiao Hinggan Ling, China.

Key words: spruce-fir valley forest, leaf area index, spatial heterogeneity, geostatistical analysis