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Data from: The species richness pattern of vascular plants along a tropical elevational gradient and the test of elevational Rapoport's rule depend on different life‐forms and phytogeographic affinities

Citation

Zhou, Yadong et al. (2019), Data from: The species richness pattern of vascular plants along a tropical elevational gradient and the test of elevational Rapoport's rule depend on different life‐forms and phytogeographic affinities, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m6q87k1

Abstract

The research about species richness pattern and elevational Rapoport's rule (ERR) have been carried out mostly in the temperate regions in the recent years and scarcely in the tropical mountains; meanwhile, it is unclear whether the ERR is consistent among different life‐forms and phytogeographic affinities. Here, we compiled a database of plant species of Mount Kenya, a tropical mountain of East Africa, and divided these species into twelve groups depending on the life‐form and phytogeographic affinity of each species. We inspected the species richness pattern of each group along the elevation gradient and also tested ERR of each group using Stevens' method. Our results showed that species richness of the total species showed a positively skewed (hump‐shaped) pattern along the elevation gradient and different life‐forms and phytogeographic affinities showed similar hump‐shaped patterns as the total species. The average elevation range size of the total species and herbaceous species showed increasing patterns along the elevation gradient, while lycophytes and ferns, and woody species showed an obvious downward trend after peaking in the high elevation regions. We concluded that the widely distributed herbaceous species which also have broad elevation range sizes are more applicable to ERR, while the narrowly distributed woody species with small elevation range sizes occurring in the higher elevations could reverse ERR. Therefore, we concluded that the ERR is not consistent among different organisms in the same region.

Usage Notes

Location

Mount Kenya
East Africa