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Data from: Variation in three community features across habitat types and scales within a 15-ha subtropical evergreen-deciduous broadleaved mixed forest dynamics plot in China

Citation

Feng, Guang et al. (2018), Data from: Variation in three community features across habitat types and scales within a 15-ha subtropical evergreen-deciduous broadleaved mixed forest dynamics plot in China, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.s3np654

Abstract

The evergreen and deciduous broadleaved mixed forests (EDBMFs) belong to one of the ecosystems most sensitive to environmental change, however, little is known about the environmental determinants for their plant diversity and forest structure at different habitat types and spatial scales. Here, we used data from a 15-ha (300×500 m) forest dynamic plot (FDP) of an old-growth EDBMF to examine the patterns and determinants of the three community features (stem abundance, rarefied species richness and basal area) in three habitat types (ridge, hillside and foothill) and at three spatial scales (20×20 m, 50×50 m and 100×100 m). We found that the three community features significantly changed with habitat type, but only one of them (rarefied richness) changed with scale. Among spatial scales, the principle environmental factors that widely affected community features were pH, SOM and TP, while these effects only taken place at certain habitat. Variations in the three community features explained by soil conditions were generally greater than those explained by topographical conditions. With changes in habitat type, the proportion of variations explained by environmental conditions was 31-53%, 8-25%, and 18-26% for abundance, rarefied richness and basal area (BA), respectively. With increasing spatial scale, the variations explained by environmental conditions were 44-75% for abundance, 28-95% for rarefied richness, and 18-86% for BA. Our study demonstrated that environmental factors had great impacts on the plant diversity and forest structure in the EDBMFs, especially the soil factors such as pH. In addition, the importance of the environmental determinants on these community features was highly related to the spatial scale.

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