Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (9): 935-947.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00935

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Community structure of endemic woody plants in tropical montane rainforest of Jianfengling, Hainan Island, China

SHENG Da-Yong1,3, ZHUANG Xue-Ying1,*(), XU Han2, LI Yi-De2, HU Yue-Hua2, SHI Lei-Lei2, LUO Tu-Shou2, CHEN De-Xiang2, LIN Ming-Xian2   

  1. 1College of Forestry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
    2Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China
    3Huizhou Institute of Forestry Science, Huizhou, Guangdong, 516001, China
  • Received:2012-02-14 Accepted:2012-04-25 Online:2012-02-14 Published:2012-09-06
  • Contact: ZHUANG Xue-Ying


Aims Our objective was to understand the endemic woody species and their distribution, population structure, and roles in maintaining the biodiversity of the montane rain forest of Hainan, China.
Methods We surveyed a 4.8 hm 2 permanent plot in the primary montane rain forest of Jianfengling, Hainan and analyzed the species composition, importance value, abundance, and size-class distribution of the community. ANOVA was used to evaluate differences in three diversity indices before and after removing the endemic species.
Important findings A total of 36481 woody plants with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥1.0 cm were recorded. They belong to 65 families, 134 genera, and 247 species. Of these, 24 tree and shrub species are endemic to Hainan Island, comprising 9.7% of the total number of trees in the plot. Most of the endemic species have small abundance and sparse distribution, having minor status in the community composition. Most endemic species had preference to specific habitats, narrow distributions, and their seeds were dispersed mainly by animals. The Margalef and Shannon-Wiener indices declined significantly (p < 0.01) after removing the endemic species, but the Simpson and Pielou indices showed no significant differences. Despite their minor roles in the community, the endemic species are important in maintaining the floristic diversity of the tropical montane rainforest. They are of value for scientific research and conservation.

Key words: Hainan Island, population dynamics, seed plant species endemic to Hainan Island, species diversity, tropical montane rainforest