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ABSTRACT:

Tree species composition and diversity of tropical mountain cloud forest in the Yunnan southwestern China

Journal Article

Shi J; Zhu H

2009

Ecological Research

24

83-92

Species composition physiognomy and plant diversity of the less known cloud forests in Yunnan were studied based on data collected from 35 sample plots at seven sites. In floristic composition the cloud forests are mainly comprised of Fagaceae Ericaceae Vacciniaceae Aceraceae Magnoliaceae Theaceae Aquifoliaceae Illiciaceae Lauraceae and Rosaceae. Physiognomically the forests are dominated by tree and shrub species. Lianas are rare in the forests. The plants with microphyllous or nanophyllous leaves comprise 44.32–63.46% of the total species and plants with an entire leaf margin account for more than 50% of the tree and shrub species. There are few tree and shrub species with a drip tip leaf apex and papery leaves. Evergreen species make up more than 75% of the total tree and shrub species. In a 2500 m2 sampling area the number of vascular species ranged between 57 and 110; Simpson’s diversity index ranged from 0.7719 to 0.9544 Shannon–Winner’s diversity index from 1.8251 to 3.2905 and Pielou’s evenness index from 0.5836 to 0.8982 for trees. The cloud forests in Yunnan are physiognomically similar to the tropical cloud forests in America and Southeast Asia. They very much resemble the mountain dwarf mossy forest in Hainan Island southeastern China and the Mountain ericaceous forests in the Malay Peninsula. The cloud forests in Yunnan are considered to be developed as are the tropical upper montane cloud forests in Asia.

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Support

The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.