Plant Diversity ›› 2024, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (02): 238-246.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2023.08.006

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Different mechanisms underlie similar species-area relationships in two tropical archipelagoes

Shengchun Lia,b,c,d, Tieyao Tua, Shaopeng Lib,c,e, Xian Yangf, Yong Zhengg, Liang-Dong Guoh, Dianxiang Zhanga, Lin Jiangc   

  1. a. Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China;
    b. ECNU-Alberta Joint Lab for Biodiversity Study, Tiantong Forest Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China;
    c. School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA;
    d. Jiangxi Academy of Forestry, Nanchang 330032, China;
    e. Institute of Eco-Chongming (IEC), Shanghai 202162, China;
    f. State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Ecology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    g. School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China;
    h. State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2023-05-09 Revised:2023-07-26 Online:2024-03-25 Published:2024-04-07
  • Contact: Tieyao Tu,;Dianxiang Zhang,;Lin Jiang,
  • Supported by:
    This study was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFC3100405), the Science and Technology Basic Works Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2013FY111200), the Guangdong Provincial Special Fund for Natural Resource Affairs on Ecology and Forestry Construction (GDZZDC20228704), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32070222), and the National Science Foundation of USA (DEB-1342754 and DEB-1856318).

Abstract: Despite much research in the field of island biogeography, mechanisms regulating insular diversity remain elusive. Here, we aim to explore mechanisms underlying plant species-area relationships in two tropical archipelagoes in the South China Sea. We found positive plant species-area relationships for both coral and continental archipelagoes. However, our results showed that different mechanisms contributed to similar plant species-area relationships between the two archipelagoes. For coral islands, soil nutrients and spatial distance among communities played major roles in shaping plant community structure and species diversity. By contrast, the direct effect of island area, and to a lesser extent, soil nutrients determined plant species richness on continental islands. Intriguingly, increasing soil nutrients availability (N, P, K) had opposite effects on plant diversity between the two archipelagoes. In summary, the habitat quality effect and dispersal limitation are important for regulating plant diversity on coral islands, whereas the passive sampling effect, and to a lesser extent, the habitat quality effect are important for regulating plant diversity on continental islands. More generally, our findings indicate that island plant species-area relationships are outcomes of the interplay of both niche and neutral processes, but the driving mechanisms behind these relationships depends on the type of islands.

Key words: Coral and continental islands, Plant diversity, Soil nutrients, Species-area relationships, The sampling effect