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Forests 2018, 9(9), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090511

Species Richness of the Family Ericaceae along an Elevational Gradient in Yunnan, China

1
Flower Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming 650051, China
2
National Engineering Research Center for Ornamental Horticulture, Kunming 650051, China
3
Institute of South Asia & Southeast Asia Radiation Center, Yunnan Minzu University, Kunming 650504, China
4
Key Laboratory for Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Causes and Consequences of Species Diversity in Forest Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Knowledge about how species richness varies along spatial and environmental gradients is important for the conservation and use of biodiversity. The Ericaceae is a major component of alpine and subalpine vegetation globally. However, little is known about the spatial pattern of species richness and the factors that drive that richness in Ericaceae. We investigated variation in species richness of Ericaceae along an elevational gradient in Yunnan, China, and used a variation partitioning analysis based on redundancy analysis ordination to examine how those changes might be influenced by the mid-domain effect, the species-area relationship, and climatic variables. Species richness varied significantly with elevation, peaking in the upper third of the elevational gradient. Of the factors examined, climate explained a larger proportion of the variance in species richness along the elevational gradient than either land area or geometric constraints. Species richness showed a unimodal relationship with mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation. The elevational pattern of species richness for Ericaceae was shaped by the combined effects of climate and competition. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the potential effects of climate change on species richness for Ericaceae. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ericaceae; variation partitioning; climate; species-area relationship; mid-domain effect Ericaceae; variation partitioning; climate; species-area relationship; mid-domain effect
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Wang, J.-H.; Cai, Y.-F.; Zhang, L.; Xu, C.-K.; Zhang, S.-B. Species Richness of the Family Ericaceae along an Elevational Gradient in Yunnan, China. Forests 2018, 9, 511.

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