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Species composition and community structure at different vegetation successional stages in Puding, Guizhou Province, China

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Author(s): LIU Yu-Guo | LIU Chang-Cheng | WEI Ya-Fen | LIU Yong-Gang | GUO Ke

Journal: Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology
ISSN 1005-264X

Volume: 35;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 1009;
Date: 2011;

Keywords: community structure | karst | species composition | succession | vegetation restoration

ABSTRACT
Aims Information on the species composition and community structure of vegetation at different successional stages is useful for understanding successional mechanisms and for selecting species for vegetation recovery. Our objective is to describe the dynamics of species composition and community structure during vegetation succession in a karst area of China.Methods We collected plant community data from 33 plots in different successional stages at an ecological research station in Puding, Guizhou and statistically analyzed the data.Important findings We recorded 365 plant species belonging to 218 genera and 89 families. Included were 31 species of ferns belonging to 23 genera and 14 families and 334 species of seed plants belonging to 195 genera and 75 families. No gymnosperm species was recorded. The dominant families included Rosaceae, Compositae, Poaceae, Liliaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Labiatae, Cyperaceae, Lauraceae, Vitaceae and Polypodiaceae. We found five successional stages (fern caused by fire disturbance, thin shrub-grassland, shrub, forest-shrub transition and forest communities). During the successional process, species richness increased and community structure tended to become more complex. The shrub and forest-shrub transition communities were not stratified, but the forest community was. From shrub to forest, the proportion of individuals with small diameters gradually decreased. The total, tree and liana density of woody plant taller than 1.3 m first increased and then decreased. Shrub density gradually decreased. Methods of vegetation restoration in karst areas are included.
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