Plant Diversity ›› 2024, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (01): 70-77.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2023.07.005

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Community structure and species diversity dynamics of a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in China: 2005 to 2020

Shi-Guang Weia,c, Lin Lib, Kun-Dong Baia,c, Zhi-Feng Wenb, Jing-Gang Zhoua,d, Qin Lind,e   

  1. a. Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection (Guangxi Normal University), Ministry of Education, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China;
    b. School of Life & Environmental Sciences, Guilin University of Electronic Technology, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China;
    c. Guangxi Key Laboratory of Landscape Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization in Lijiang River Basin, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China;
    d. Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of South China Botanical Garden of Degraded Ecosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, Guangdong, China;
    e. Center of Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2022-11-26 Revised:2023-07-13 Online:2024-01-25 Published:2024-03-02
  • Contact: Lin Li,
  • Supported by:
    We appreciate Dr. Wanhui Ye, Dr. Zhongliang Huang, Dr. Honglin Cao and Dr. Juyu Lian for their valuable help in collecting community data. Our sincere appreciation goes to Dr. Shannon Elliot and Dr. Nana Lin for their expert help in English language and grammatical editing. We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Du for his invaluable support. We also thank numerous individuals who contributed to the field survey of the DHS plot. We thank all of the reviewers and editors for their hard work and dedication. This plot is part of the Center for Tropical Forest Science, a global network of large-scale demographic tree plots. This study was funded by the Guangxi Natural Science Foundation Program (2022GXNSFAA035583 and 2020GXNSFAA159108), National Natural Science Foundation of China (32060305), Foundation of Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection (Guangxi Normal University), Ministry of Education, China (ERESEP 2021Z06) and Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network.

Abstract: Here, we characterize the temporal and spatial dynamics of forest community structure and species diversity in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in China. We found that community structure in this forest changed over a 15-year period. Specifically, renewal and death of common species was large, with the renewal of individuals mainly concentrated within a few populations, especially those of Aidia canthioides and Cryptocarya concinna. The numbers of individual deaths for common species were concentrated in the small and mid-diameter level. The spatial distribution of community species diversity fluctuated in each monitoring period, showing a more dispersed diversity after the 15-year study period, and the coefficient of variation on quadrats increased. In 2010, the death and renewal of the community and the spatial variation of species diversity were different compared to other survey years. Extreme weather may have affected species regeneration and community stability in our subtropical monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forests. Our findings suggest that strengthening the monitoring and management of the forest community will help better understand the long- and short-term causes of dynamic fluctuations of community structure and species diversity, and reveal the factors that drive changes in community structure.

Key words: Community structure, Death and renewal dynamics, Species diversity dynamics, South subtropical forest