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Forests 2016, 7(4), 89; doi:10.3390/f7040089

Plant Diversity along the Eastern and Western Slopes of Baima Snow Mountain, China

1
The MOE Key laboratory of Earth Surface Processes; Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
2
Baima Mountain National Reserve, Deqin, Yunnan 674500, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Diana F. Tomback
Received: 23 September 2015 / Revised: 28 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation in Forests)
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Abstract

Species richness and turnover rates differed between the western and eastern aspects of Baima Snow Mountain: maximum species richness (94 species in a transect of 1000 m2) was recorded at 2800 m on the western aspect and at 3400 m on the eastern aspect (126 species), which also recorded a much higher value of gamma diversity (501 species) than the western aspect (300 species). The turnover rates were the highest in the transition zones between different vegetation types, whereas species-area curves showed larger within-transect beta diversity at middle elevations. The effect of elevation on alpha diversity was due mainly to the differences in seasonal temperature and moisture, and these environmental factors mattered more than spatial distances to the turnover rates along the elevation gradient, although the impact of the environmental factors differed with the growth form (herb, shrubs or trees) of the species. The differences in the patterns of plant biodiversity between the two aspects helped to assess several hypotheses that seek to explain such patterns, to highlight the impacts of contemporary climate and historical and regional factors and to plan biological conservation and forest management in this region more scientifically. View Full-Text
Keywords: elevational gradient; mountain aspect; plant species diversity; comparative study; Baima Snow Mountain; Three Parallel River region; northwest Yunnan elevational gradient; mountain aspect; plant species diversity; comparative study; Baima Snow Mountain; Three Parallel River region; northwest Yunnan
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yang, Y.; Shen, Z.; Han, J.; Zhongyong, C. Plant Diversity along the Eastern and Western Slopes of Baima Snow Mountain, China. Forests 2016, 7, 89.

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