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Article

Functional Diversity and Its Influencing Factors in a Subtropical Forest Community in China

by 1,2, 1, 2,*, 3,4 and 3,4
1
College of Life and Environmental Science, Guilin University of Electronic Technology, Guilin 541004, China
2
Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection (Guangxi Normal University), Ministry of Education, Guilin 541004, China
3
Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of South China Botanical Garden of Degraded Ecosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
4
Center of Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bogdan Jaroszewicz
Forests 2022, 13(7), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070966
Received: 21 April 2022 / Revised: 12 June 2022 / Accepted: 13 June 2022 / Published: 21 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-Term Monitoring of Forest Biodiversity and Dynamics in China)
Functional diversity is considered a key link between ecosystem functions and biodiversity, and forms the basis for making community diversity conservation strategies. Here, we chose a subtropical forest community in China as the research object, which is unique in that other regions of the world at the same latitude have almost no vegetation cover. We measured 17 functional traits of 100 plant species and calculated seven different functional diversity indices, based on functional richness, evenness, and divergence. We found that most functional diversity and species diversity indices significantly differed with plant habit. There was a significant positive correlation among functional richness indices. However, functional divergence indices, multidimensional functional divergence (FDiv), and Rao’s quadratic entropy index (RaoQ) were significantly negatively correlated, and RaoQ and functional divergence indices (FDis) were uncorrelated. The correlations between three types (richness, evenness, and divergence) of functional diversity indices and three species diversity indices were different. Lineage regression results generally showed that three functional richness indices (Average distance of functional traits (MFAD), Functional volume (FRic) and Posteriori functional group richness (FGR)) were increased with three species diversity indices (species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H) and Pielou index (E)). The functional evenness index (FEve) decreased with species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H) and increased with species evenness (Pielou index (E)), but the change trends were small. All three types of functional diversity indices declined with altitude, although altitude had a weak influence on them. Other environmental factors affected the functional diversity of the community. Here, soil total phosphorus (TP) was the most critical environmental factor and the convex had the least effect on functional diversity in our subtropical forest community. These results will contribute to our understanding of functional diversity in subtropical forests, and provide a basis for biodiversity conservation in this region. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional diversity; biodiversity; functional divergence; functional richness; functional evenness; elevation functional diversity; biodiversity; functional divergence; functional richness; functional evenness; elevation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, L.; Wen, Z.; Wei, S.; Lian, J.; Ye, W. Functional Diversity and Its Influencing Factors in a Subtropical Forest Community in China. Forests 2022, 13, 966. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070966

AMA Style

Li L, Wen Z, Wei S, Lian J, Ye W. Functional Diversity and Its Influencing Factors in a Subtropical Forest Community in China. Forests. 2022; 13(7):966. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070966

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Lin, Zhifeng Wen, Shiguang Wei, Juyu Lian, and Wanhui Ye. 2022. "Functional Diversity and Its Influencing Factors in a Subtropical Forest Community in China" Forests 13, no. 7: 966. https://doi.org/10.3390/f13070966

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