Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (10): 1007-1014.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0174

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Separation of phylogeny and ecological behaviors between evergreen and deciduous woody angiosperms in the subtropical forest dynamics plots of China

CHE Jian1,3, ZHENG Jie1,3, JIANG Ya3, JIN Yi1,3,*(), YI Yin1,2,*()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Biodiversity Conservation in Karst Mountainous Areas of Southwestern China, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China
    2Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Developmental Regulation of Guizhou Province, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China
    3School of Life Sciences, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China
  • Received:2020-05-29 Accepted:2020-08-10 Online:2020-10-20 Published:2020-10-11
  • Contact: JIN Yi,YI Yin
  • Supported by:
    Joint Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Karst Science Research Center of Guizhou Province(U1812401);Natural Science and Technology Foundation of Guizhou Province(黔科合基础[2020]1Z013)


Aims Evergreen (EBL) and deciduous broad-leaved (DBL) woody angiosperms are two major plant groups in the subtropical broad-leaved forests of eastern Asia. Exploring the separation between these two groups in ecological niche, will shed light on the biodiversity maintenance mechanisms of subtropical broad-leaved forests.
Methods Adopting statistical methods including the linear regression model and the multiple regression method of Mantel test, we compared the phylogeny and ecological behaviors of the two plant groups in eight forest dynamics plots in China.
Important findings We found that (1) leaf habit, be either EBL or DBL, was phylogenetically conserved in the 788 study angiosperm taxa. EBLs and DBLs differed in ecological behaviors towards light, temperature, water, soil reaction and soil fertility. EBLs prefer low light and soil pH, high temperature, water and soil fertility; while the opposite was true for DBLs. (2) Within plot, DBLs were more clustered in phylogenetic dispersion, but more overdispersed in ecological behavior, compared with EBLs; similarly, between plots, DBLs were less diverse in phylogenetic composition, but more diverse in ecological behaviors, than EBLs. On the other hand, divergence in phylogenetic composition of DBLs between plots increased with difference in mean annual temperature (MAT). Further, we found that (3) the ratio of DBLs to EBLs in species richness decreased with MAT increased, but not with dry season length or annual precipitation. The findings show that EBLs and DBLs of the eight study plots differ in both phylogeny and ecological behaviors, and imply that niche separation may be a major mechanism that maintains the biodiversity of subtropical broad-leaved forests.

Key words: leaf habit, ecological niche, biodiversity, subtropical forest, Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network