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Forests 2017, 8(8), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8080282

Species Diversity, Stand Structure, and Species Distribution across a Precipitation Gradient in Tropical Forests in Myanmar

1
Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Seoul, Seoul 02504, Korea
2
Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Dongguk University, Gyeonggi 10326, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract

An understanding of how species diversity, structural pattern, and species distribution vary across different environmental regions is crucially important for tropical ecology. In this study, we explored how these ecological parameters vary across various rainfall regions in the tropics with annual rainfall levels ranging from 843 to 2035 mm. Diversity, similarity, structure, and forest classification, and their correspondence with rainfall regions were tested. We found that species diversity, site class, and structural complexity increased with rainfall, with differences of 1000 mm having significant effects on diversity. The structure and heterogeneity of forests were higher in the high rainfall regions than the low rainfall regions. The forest structure was significantly correlated with rainfall, and the structure differed substantially where annual rainfall differed among sites by approximately 200 or 400 mm. Forests could be classified into two types according to whether they had high annual rainfall (1411–2035 mm) or low annual rainfall (843–1029 mm). In addition, the dominance of species changed noticeably from high- to low-rainfall regions, with Tectona hamiltoniana and Terminalia oliveri only being abundant in the low rainfall region. Species diversity and richness were significantly correlated with rainfall and average temperature. These findings will provide invaluable information for forest management and ecological phytogeography. View Full-Text
Keywords: diversity; growth; rainfall; similarity; tropical; Tectona hamiltoniana; Terminalia oliveri diversity; growth; rainfall; similarity; tropical; Tectona hamiltoniana; Terminalia oliveri
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Khaine, I.; Woo, S.Y.; Kang, H.; Kwak, M.; Je, S.M.; You, H.; Lee, T.; Jang, J.; Lee, H.K.; Lee, E.; Yang, L.; Kim, H.; Lee, J.K.; Kim, J. Species Diversity, Stand Structure, and Species Distribution across a Precipitation Gradient in Tropical Forests in Myanmar. Forests 2017, 8, 282.

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