The Qinling Mountains, which run east-west and serve as the geographical boundary between southern and northern China as well as the climatic demarcation line present between the warm and subtropical temperate zones in China, are of ecological importance in biodiversity studies.
For the basic causes of the alterations of species diversity to be determined in the temperate forest, Dr. Rui He, under Professor Haishan Dang from the Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, employed multivariate linear regression analysis. This helps test the impacts of abiotic and biotic factors on alpha diversity, Local Contribution to Beta Diversity (LCBD), and Species Contribution to Beta Diversity (SCBD).
They utilized changes partitioning in a mixture of environmental variables and spatial distance to identify the contribution of environment-related changes versus spatial alterations in a completely mapped 25-ha permanent forest plot in the Qinling Mountains of north-central China.
Regarding alpha-diversity, outcomes displayed that the species’ plenty and richness had a positive correlation with soil phosphorus and had a considerable negative correlation with slope.
As far as the beta-diversity is concerned, both spatial and environmental variables had a considerable effect on the changes of beta-diversity, describing 46% of the changes in the community composition of the permanent forest plot.
Almost 60% of the changes of LCBD in the understory layer were described collectively by soil features, biological factors, and topographic variables. But in the canopy and substory layers, these variables described just 40% and 29% changes of LCBD.
Besides, high species abundance was discovered to be linked to high SCBD values irrespective of forest vertical strata and niche position. Since one of the ecological traits considerably impacted the changes of SCBD in the canopy and substory layers.
Under the exploration of the possible impacting factors of species diversity from the view of vertical stratification of the forest community, the study illuminates the biotic factors and how species diversity in the forest reacts to environmental conditions, and how it is impacted by ecological traits of species and biotic factors.
Also, it offers novelty for the safety of forest biodiversity and the disclosure of the mechanism of species coexistence.
This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Meituan Qingshan Special Commonweal Fund of China Environmental Protection Foundation.
He, R., et al. (2022) Patterns of species diversity and its determinants in a temperate deciduous broad-leaved forest. Forest Ecosystems. doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.fecs.2022.100062.