Plant ecology on Qingzang Plateau:Data paper

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    Species composition and structure characteristics of alpine shrubland communities of Haizi Mountain in Batang, Sichuan, China
    LIU Qiu-Rong, LI Li, LUO Yao, CHEN Dong-Dong, HUANG Xin, HU Jun, LIU Qing
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2022, 46 (11): 1334-1341.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0136
    Accepted: 15 August 2022

    Abstract648)   HTML115)    PDF (9964KB)(1099)       Save

    Alpine shrublands, as a zonal vegetation, are widely distributed on the Qingzang Plateau, and play ecological functions such as soil and water conservation, conservation of water resources, and biodiversity protection in the regional ecosystem. This study used a unified and standardized method to set up 58 quadrats to investigate the species composition, quantitative characteristics and habitat information of the main alpine shrublands of the Haizi Mountain in Batang, China. Based on “Vegegraphy of China” compilation and research standards, the alpine shrublands in this area can be divided into three vegetation types, 11 alliances, and 21 associations. This paper presents descriptions on the characteristics for each association and provides the original data from all survey plots.

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    Community composition and structure in a 25.2 hm2 subalpine dark coniferous forest dynamics plot in Wanglang, Sichuan, China
    FAN Fan, ZHAO Lian-Jun, MA Tian-Yi, XIONG Xin-Yu, ZHANG Yuan-Bin, SHEN Xiao-Li, LI Sheng
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2022, 46 (9): 1005-1017.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0094
    Accepted: 15 June 2022

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    Aims Subalpine dark coniferous forests are an important representative of the cold-temperate coniferous forests in China. Dark coniferous forests dominated by spruce (Piceaspp.) and fir (Abies spp.) are the main body of subalpine forests on the eastern edge of the Qingzang Plateau and an important ecological defense in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in China. In this study, we examined the community composition and structure of such a dark coniferous forest based on the first census data of the 25.2 hm2 Wanglang forest dynamics plot in western Sichuan.

    Methods The plot was established following the standard protocol of Forest Global Earth Observation Network (ForestGEO) and all free-standing stems with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥ 1 cm were tagged, mapped, measured and identified to species.

    Important findings A total of 56 574 individuals belonging to 46 species, 27 genera and 15 families are tagged, including 4 coniferous species, 6 evergreen broad-leaved species and 36 deciduous broad-leaved species. There are 13 rare species (≤1 individuals per hm2), accounting for 28.26% of the total number of species and 0.16% of the total number of individuals in the plot. Abies fargesiivar. faxoniana(9 440 individuals) and P. purpurea (1 645 individuals) are the dominant and constructive species in canopy, accounting for 26.03% and 10.69% of the total importance value, and 55.22% and 24.84% of the total basal area (37.87 m2·hm-2), respectively. The number of individuals of deciduous broad-leaved species accounted for 78.48% of the total individuals. Among them, Philadelphus purpurascens, Lonicera nervosaand Euonymus frigidusare the dominant species in shrub layer. The number of individuals of evergreen broad-leaved species is 268, and all these species belong to genus Rhododendron. The composition of the size distribution shows typical characteristics of old-growth forests. Picea purpurea is the largest tree species (max DBH = 127.07 cm) and the mean basal area (0.14 ± 0.18) m2 is much higher than that of A. fargesiivar. faxoniana(0.056 ± 0.11) m2. The size class distribution of all woody species shows an inverse J-shaped distribution, indicating that the community is in a stable and healthy recruitment state. Results of the point pattern analysis reveal that the five dominant tree species (important values ≥5) all show aggregated distribution patterns. However, as the spatial scale increases, all five species tend to be randomly distributed. The results of this study provide basic information for future studies on the diversity maintenance and regeneration mechanisms of subalpine dark coniferous forests in western Sichuan, and the conservation and management of this unique forest ecosystem.

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    A plot-based dataset of plant community on the Qingzang Plateau
    JIN Yi-Li, WANG Hao-Yan, WEI Lin-Feng, HOU Ying, HU Jing, WU Kai, XIA Hao-Jun, XIA Jie, ZHOU Bo-Rui, LI Kai, NI Jian
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2022, 46 (7): 846-854.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0174
    Accepted: 08 June 2022

    Abstract2251)   HTML254)    PDF (991KB)(1798)       Save

    Plot-based data are an important foundation for studying plant community characteristics and compiling vegetation monographs, vegetation map, and vegegraphy. It is the key data source of studies in vegetation ecology. To understand the species composition, community characteristics, and distribution pattern of special plateau vegetation on the Qingzang Plateau (QZP), this study uses the data of 338 sites including 758 plots in different regions of the QZP from 2018 to 2021 to analyze the species composition, floristic characteristics, and vegetation classification of plateau plant communities. A plot-based dataset of plant community on the QZP is then established. The 758 plots have 837 plant species belonging to 279 genera from 65 families in the alpine and temperate vegetation communities. The largest number of species are found in five families: Asteraceae (134 species), Poaceae (88 species), Fabaceae (75 species), Rosaceae (43 species), and Cyperaceae (40 species), as well as five genera: Artemisia (29 species), Pedicularis (27 species), Saussurea (25 species), Astragalus (23 species), and Poa (23 species). The floristic composition is mainly temperate (145 genera) and cosmopolitan (36 genera). The growth forms of the species are mainly herbs (83.51%) and shrubs (10.87%), and the life forms of herbs and woody plants are mainly perennial herbs (88.23%) and deciduous shrubs (83.67%), respectively. A total of 338 sites can be divided into four vegetation formation groups, 10 vegetation formations, 20 vegetation subformations, 78 alliance groups, and 117 alliances, in which 34 are steppe alliances, 33 are meadow alliances, 33 are desert alliances, 14 are shrubland alliances, and 3 are coniferous forest alliances. This dataset covers most of the alpine shrubland, meadow, steppe, desert, and temperate steppe, desert vegetation regions of the QZP. This work provides a solid foundation for exploring the vegetation characteristics and regularity of vegetation zonal differentiation and determining the impacts of climate change and human disturbances on alpine vegetation and their ecological restoration. The dataset also provides a reference for the updating of the next generation of China's vegetation map.

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    A climate diagram atlas of Qingzang Plateau
    HU Xiao-Fei, WEI Lin-Feng, CHENG Qi, WU Xing-Qi, NI Jian
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2022, 46 (4): 484-492.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0360
    Accepted: 16 December 2021

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    Climate diagram can be used to reflect visually observation data of temperature and precipitation as well as information of weather stations. It is an effective tool for studying the relationship between vegetation and climate. This paper aims to provide the atlas of climate diagrams of the Qingzang Plateau, based on the 30-year averaged observational records of national surface weather stations during 1951-1980 and 1981-2010, respectively, in order to understand the plateau climate feature of every vegetation region and to further explore the vegetation- climate relationships on the plateau. The atlas of climate diagrams of 205 weather stations on the Qingzang Plateau for both the two 30-year periods were produced according to the standard of climate diagrams in Vegetation of China. Results showed that the temperature and precipitation of the Qingzang Plateau were overall low in the whole year but relatively higher in summer, and differed obviously among different vegetation regions. The mean annual temperature and annual precipitation showed an increasing trend from the first 30-year period of 1951-1980 to the later one of 1981-2010. Although the number of weather stations in the western plateau is very sparse, this climate diagram dataset covers every vegetation regions of the plateau surface. This atlas can be used effectively to study the relationships between vegetation and climate, and conveniently to display the climate environment of the plateau.

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    Characteristics of Juniperus community types in the Three-River-Source Region
    Qin ZHU, Pan NING, Lin HOU, Jia-Tian HAO, Yun-Yun HU
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2022, 46 (1): 114-122.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0223
    Accepted: 21 December 2021

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    Aims Juniperus community is an important component of natural forest resources in the Three-River-Source Region, which is significant in maintaining biodiversity and ecological security on the Qingzang Plateau. Yet, the information on the characteristics of the Juniperus community is lacking due to their special geographical location and varied topography. In this study, the main vegetation types of Juniperus community were investigated, and the main characteristics of each community type were described quantitatively by analyzing data from 53 plots. Methods Based on the analysis of forest resources inventory data in the Three-River-Source Region, the representative distribution area of Juniperus was selected to set up 7 sites, a total of 53 plots. Through the investigation of field communities and plot properties, the importance of each species was quantified and calculated. The principle of life form and dominance methods in Vegetation of China were used to determine community types. Important findings (1) The Juniperus plant community in the Three-River-Source Region was divided into 6 alliances, and then further divided into 15 associations. (2) In total, 142 species of seed plants were recorded, which was belonged to 34 families and 90 genera. Among them, Compositae was the major family, accounting for 16.20% of the total species. (3) The vertical structure of the community was obvious, in which the dominant species in the tree layer was single. The dominant species in the shrub layer were Berberis diaphana, Potentilla glabra and shrubby Juniperus tibetica. The herb layer were dominated by Carex and Pedicularis. (4) Among the geographical elements of seed plant species, the Temperate distribution accounted for 52.59% of the total species, while the rest was Chinese endemic species accounting for 47.41%. Temperate Asian, East Asian and Central Asian were the dominated areal-types in the Temperate distribution. Furthermore, the floristic elements of Hengduanshan flora and Tanggut flora were mixed formed the unique characteristic areal-type in the region.

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    A modern pollen dataset of China
    CHEN Hai-Yan, XU De-Yu, LIAO Meng-Na, LI Kai, NI Jian, CAO Xian-Yong, CHENG Bo, HAO Xiu-Dong, KONG Zhao-Chen, LI Sheng-Feng, LI Xiao-Qiang, LIU Guang-Xiu, LIU Ping-Mei, LIU Xing-Qi, SUN Xiang-Jun, TANG Ling-Yu, WEI Hai-Cheng, XU Qing-Hai, YAN Shun, YANG Xiang-Dong, YANG Zhen-Jing, YU Ge, ZHANG Yun, ZHANG Zhi-Yong, ZHAO Ke-Liang, ZHENG Zhuo, Ulrike HERZSCHUH
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2021, 45 (7): 799-808.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0024
    Accepted: 07 May 2021

    Abstract2754)   HTML129)    PDF (1402KB)(1534)       Save

    Pollen record is an essential data for reconstructing paleovegetation and paleoclimate. It is important for the studies of paleoenvironmental evolution, characteristics of paleoclimate change and simulation of paleobiogeochemical cycles from site to regional and global scales. In this paper, we collected and sorted out the pollen data records from published and unpublished Chinese literature between 1960 to 2020. The records included sample numbers, sampling locations (latitude, longitude and altitude of sampling sites), sample types, data sources, data types, surrounding vegetation, references, and pollen taxa, their compositions as well. They were filtered and standardized to integrate a pollen dataset of China. This dataset consists of 4 497 modern pollen sampling sites, including 660 published data from the Chinese Quaternary Pollen Database, 1 763 from early published data and 2 074 from recently collected data, belonging to 772 pollen taxa. The samples were mainly from surface soils (3 332 sites), and the rest were from moss plosters, surface sediments from lakes and the ocean. The sampling sites are widely scattered around China representing different geographical regions and vegetation types: 24.91%. in the temperate desert region, 24.02% in the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest region, followed by the temperate grassland region (16.14%) and alpine vegetation region of Qingzang Plateau (15.83%). The data can be divided into the raw data (58%) and numerical data (42%) according to their sources, and grain count (59%) and calculated pollen percentage (41%) by data type as well. The database constructed from the samples over China during the past half-century+ period is, though by far from complete, good representation of most of the areas in China, which can be effective in the reconstruction of past vegetation and climates as modern verification.

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    Basic characteristics of Stipa sareptana var. krylovii communities in China
    LU Shuai-Zhi, QIAO Xian-Guo, ZHAO Li-Qing, WANG Zi, GAO Chen-Guang, WANG Jing, GUO Ke
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2020, 44 (10): 1087-1094.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0072
    Accepted: 03 September 2020

    Abstract1167)   HTML63)    PDF (1003KB)(949)       Save

    Stipa sareptana var. krylovii alliance is one of the typical steppes endemic to Central Asia. The eastern border of its distribution is adjacent to the meadow steppes on the Hulunbeir Plateau, the western border extends to the desert steppes on the Ulanqabu Plateau and Tianshan Mountains, and the southern border lies among the warm temperate steppes on the Loess Plateau. The distribution of this alliance also spreads into the alpine steppes on the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. The broad its distribution suggests that S. sareptana var. krylovii alliance has wide ecological adaptability. In this study, we described and analyzed the eco-geographical distribution, community characteristics and classification of S. sareptana var. krylovii alliance based on data from 117 plots. The results showed that there are 336 seed plants belonging to 36 families and 131 genera in these plots. The families with more than 15 species are Gramineae, Compositae, Leguminosae, Rosaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Liliaceae. Among all species in these plots, 91.67% are rare species with occurrence frequency smaller than 20%. Besides S. sareptana var. krylovii, the most common species in this alliance include Cleistogenes squarrosa, Heteropappus altaicus, Agropyron cristatum, Koeleria cristata, Potentilla bifurca, Salsola collina, Allium tenuissimum and Leymus chinensis. In addition, hemicryptophytes are the most common life form within the surveyed plots, accounting for 66.37% of all species. Xerophytes are the most common water ecological type, accounting for 61.19% of all species. East Palearctic element was the major floristic geographical element, accounting for 33.33% of all species. Based on the China Vegetation Classification System, S. sareptana var. krylovii alliance could be classified into 6 association groups and further into 45 associations.

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    Community characteristics of Stipa bungeana alliance in China
    QIAO Xian-Guo, GUO Ke, ZHAO Li-Qing, WANG Zi, LIU Chang-Cheng
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2020, 44 (9): 986-994.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0150
    Accepted: 07 August 2020

    Abstract1027)   HTML139)    PDF (1345KB)(1079)       Save

    The Stipa bungeana alliance is one of the main steppe types in Eurasian. Endemic to China, the alliance is mainly found in the Loess Plateau and the adjacent areas, but its range of distribution has been noted to decline and become highly fragmented due to conversion to cropland or at unstable successional stages. In this study, we described and analyzed the eco-geographical distribution, community characteristics, and vegetation classification of S. bugneana alliance based on data from 108 plots surveyed during 2013-2019. Results show that S. bungeana alliance is currently distributed in northern Shaanxi, southern Ningxia, eastern and central Gansu, northern Shanxi, the loess hills in the south of Yinshan Mountains and the Erdos Plateau. This alliance occurs mainly on loess soils or kastanozems, along elevation ranging from (1) 631 to 3 174 (4 098) m. Two hundred and fourteen plant species from 37 families and 109 genera were recorded across the 108 plots, with most of them being rare species in the alliance. There are more hemicryptophytes and perennial forbs than other life forms. Xerophytes, especially meso-xerophytes and typical xerophytes, have higher representation in species richness than mesophytes. Among the 10 geographical floristic elements, the East Asia element, the East Palearctic element and the central Asia element were the three dominants. The height, cover, biomass and species richness vary greatly across the plots because those variables are highly related to the moisture and disturbance intensity of the habitats. Based on China Vegetation Classification System, S. bugneana alliance could be classified into seven association groups and 37 associations.

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    Distribution, community characteristics and classification of Stipa tianschanica var. gobica steppe in China
    ZHU Yuan-Jun, QIAO Xian-Guo, GUO Ke, XU Ri, ZHAO Li-Qing
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2018, 42 (7): 785-792.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2017.0314
    Accepted: 01 June 2018

    Abstract2043)   HTML134)    PDF (934KB)(1614)       English Version    Save

    Aims Stipa tianschanicavar. gobica steppe is mainly distributed on the rocky slopes or rocky hills of desert steppe region, and can also be found in rocky hills or mountains of the typical steppe area eastwardly and some rocky slopes of the desert region westwardly. The main vegetation types of S. tianschanicavar. gobica steppe in China were investigated in this paper, and based on the 115 plot samples, the characteristics of the main desert steppe plant communities from the main vegetation types were quantitatively described. And the results showed that: according to the quadrat data, 272 seed plants belonging to 38 families and 127 genera (including the subspecies, varieties and forms) were recorded in the S. tianschanicavar. gobica steppe of China, among which there were 3 gymnosperm species belonging to 1 families and 1 genera, and 269 angiosperm species belonging to 37 families and 126 genera. The families having more than 10 species were Compositae, Poaceae, Leguminosae, Rosaceae, Liliaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Caryophyllaceae respectively. Hemicryptophyte, with a total of 178 species is the dominant life form in S. tianschanicavar. gobica steppe, which accounted for 65.44% of the total species. As for the ecological type of water, xerophytes was the dominant plants, with a total of 120 species, accounting for 44.12% of all species. East Palaeo-North element areal-type (including 82 species) and Middle Asia element (included the variants) areal-type (including 80 species) were the major floristic elements, containing 30.14% and 29.41% of the total species. The coverage of 0.1%-1% was the dominant level in the cover class distribution of the species, including 63.97% of the total species. The constancy degree of I (0-20%) was the dominant level in the constancy degree distribution of the species in S. tianschanicavar. gobica steppe, containing 94.85% of all the species. In accordance with the classification principle of community-appearance, Form. S. tianschanicavar. gobica was divided into 8 S. tianschanicavar. gobica steppe association groups, and 106 associations were divided from these 8 association groups based on community survey data.

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    Distribution, community characteristics and classification of Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China
    Xian-Guo QIAO, Ke GUO, Li-Qing ZHAO, Chang-Cheng LIU, Hai-Wei ZHAO, Dong-Jie HOU, Chen-Guang GAO
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2017, 41 (2): 231-237.   DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0053
    Abstract1447)   HTML148)    PDF (2244KB)(3013)       English Version    Save

    Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe is the most typical formation of desert steppe in China. Based on the primary plots data obtained from fieldworks during the growing seasons from 2010 to 2016 as well as some earlier records, we studied the Stipa tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe across China systematically, including the eco-geographical distributions, community characteristics and classifications. The results showed that S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe distributed mainly on the Ulan Qab Plateau and western Xilin Gol Plateau. Due to the arid biotope of S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe, quantitative characteristics of the assemblage including height, coverage, biomass and species richness were normally lower than that of most Stipa formations in Eurasian steppe region. Moreover, 165 seed plants belonging to 85 genera and 29 families were recorded in the 80 study sites, in which rare species (occurrence frequency <20%) made up 87% of the total plants while common species and constant species could only be found occasionally. Species with the occurrence frequency exceeding 50% included S. tianschanica var. klemenzii, Convolvulus ammannii, Cleistogenes songorica, Allium tenuissimum. In addition, Hemicryptophyte and therophyte were the two dominant life forms, covering 55% and 20% of the species, respectively. As for the ecological type of water, typical xerophytes accounted for 47% of all species which is followed by super-xerophytes and meso-xerophytes. Middle Asian areal-type and east Palaeo-North areal-type were the two major floristic elements, containing 37% and 26% of the species, respectively. Based on the life forms and dominances of the species within the community, S. tianschanica var. klemenzii steppe in China could be classified into 6 association groups, 29 associations.

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    Community characteristics of Stipa roborowskyi steppe in Xizang
    YANG Yao, GUO Ke, ZHAO Li-Qing, ZHAO Hai-Wei, QIAO Xian-Guo, LIU Hui-Ming, LIU Chang- Cheng
    Chin J Plant Ecol    2014, 38 (6): 635-639.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00059
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    Cited: CSCD(6)