Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (11): 1213-1220.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0364

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Testing multiple hypotheses for the richness pattern of macrophyte in the Qaidam Basin of Northwest China

OU Wen-Hui1, LIU Ya-Heng1,2, LI Na1, XU Zhi-Yan1, PENG Qiu-Tong1, YANG Yu-Jing1, LI Zhong-Qiang1,*()   

  1. 1Faculty of Resource and Environment, Hubei University, Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Regional Development and Environmental Response, Wuhan 430062, China
    2Hubei Academy of Environmental Sciences (Hubei Provincial Eco-Environmental Engineering Assessment Center), Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2020-11-09 Accepted:2021-06-30 Online:2021-11-20 Published:2021-07-22
  • Contact: LI Zhong-Qiang
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31570366);Young and Middle-aged Science & Technology Innovation Team Project of Hubei Provincial Department of Education(T201701);Innovative Research Group Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province(2020CFA005)


Aims Patterns of species richness are influenced by both ecological factors and processes. The formation mechanisms of macrophyte richness pattern have been mainly concentrated in a few aspects, such as geometric constraints, water-energy status, or random processes.
Methods In this study, using collected macrophyte species-level data in the Qaidam Basin, we examined macrophyte richness patterns along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and tested the mid-domain effect (MDE), area effect (AE), water-energy hypothesis, spatial autocorrelation, and habitat heterogeneity hypothesis for the geographical patterns.
Important findings Our study showed that the macrophyte richness in the Qaidam Basin showed a hump- shaped pattern along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients. Regression analyses indicated that MDE and AE, rather than water-energy hypothesis, spatial autocorrelation, or habitat heterogeneity hypothesis significantly influenced macrophyte richness in the Qaidam Basin. Variation partitioning showed that the explanatory power of MDE for longitudinal and latitudinal richness patterns of macrophyte was 68.41% and 66.91%, respectively. This result implies that macrophyte richness in the Qaidam Basin is mainly affected by geometric and dispersal restrictions. This study further confirms that geometric constraints and random processes may be important natural factors affecting the pattern of macrophyte richness in the arid area of Northwest China.

Key words: richness pattern, mid-domain effect, water-energy hypothesis, spatial autocorrelation, species-area effect, habitat heterogeneity hypothesis, macrophyte, Qaidam Basin