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Open AccessArticle

Differentiation of Environmental Conditions Promotes Variation of Two Quercus wutaishanica Community Assembly Patterns

by Mao Wang 1,†, Jinshi Xu 2,†, Yongfu Chai 2, Yaoxin Guo 2, Xiao Liu 2 and Ming Yue 2,*
1
College of Grassland and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Ürümqi 830052, China
2
School of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an 710069, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors should be deemed as first co-authors.
Forests 2020, 11(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010043
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 24 December 2019 / Published: 27 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Two contradictory niche-based processes, environmental filtering and competitive exclusion, are important ecological processes in community assembly. Quercus wutaishanica forests are the climax communities in the Qinling Mountains and the Loess Plateau, China. Since these areas are characterized by different climate and evolutionary histories, these forests could be a suitable study system to test the phylogenetic niche conservatism hypothesis. We compared variation in community assembly of two distinct Q. wutaishanica forest communities and analyzed how the variations are formed. Quercus wutaishanica forest communities had significantly different species pool, phylogenetic structure and phylogenetic diversity between the two regions that were driven by inconsistency in environment conditions and evolutionary history at the local scale. Soil ammonium nitrogen, soil water content, and nitrate nitrogen play a major role in phylogenetic beta diversity patterns. The effect of environmental filtering on community assembly was more significant on the Loess Plateau than in the Qinling Mountains. Our study also found that local environment is important in mediating the patterns of phylogenetic structure. These findings provide insights into the mechanisms of local community assembly. View Full-Text
Keywords: community assembly; evolutionary history; environmental conditions; Quercus wutaishanica community assembly; evolutionary history; environmental conditions; Quercus wutaishanica
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Wang, M.; Xu, J.; Chai, Y.; Guo, Y.; Liu, X.; Yue, M. Differentiation of Environmental Conditions Promotes Variation of Two Quercus wutaishanica Community Assembly Patterns. Forests 2020, 11, 43.

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