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Plant diversity changes during the postglacial in East Asia: insights from Forest Refugia on Halla Volcano, Jeju Island.

Dolezal J, Altman J, Kopecky M, Cerny T, Janecek S, Bartos M, Petrik P, Srutek M, Leps J, Song JS - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: These diversity changes are, however, difficult to reconstruct from paleoecological sources alone, because macrofossil and pollen records do not provide complete information about species assemblages.Ecologists therefore use information from modern analogues of past communities in order to get a better understanding of past diversity changes.The strongly shading tree species dominating in the hornbeam forests have higher leaf tissue N and P concentrations and smaller leaf dry matter content, which enhances litter decomposition and nutrient cycling and in turn favored the selection of highly competitive species in the shrub layer.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Pruhonice, Czech Republic. dolezal@butbn.cas.cz

ABSTRACT
Understanding how past climate changes affected biodiversity is a key issue in contemporary ecology and conservation biology. These diversity changes are, however, difficult to reconstruct from paleoecological sources alone, because macrofossil and pollen records do not provide complete information about species assemblages. Ecologists therefore use information from modern analogues of past communities in order to get a better understanding of past diversity changes. Here we compare plant diversity, species traits and environment between late-glacial Abies, early-Holocene Quercus, and mid-Holocene warm-temperate Carpinus forest refugia on Jeju Island, Korea in order to provide insights into postglacial changes associated with their replacement. Based on detailed study of relict communities, we propose that the late-glacial open-canopy conifer forests in southern part of Korean Peninsula were rich in vascular plants, in particular of heliophilous herbs, whose dramatic decline was caused by the early Holocene invasion of dwarf bamboo into the understory of Quercus forests, followed by mid-Holocene expansion of strongly shading trees such as maple and hornbeam. This diversity loss was partly compensated in the Carpinus forests by an increase in shade-tolerant evergreen trees, shrubs and lianas. However, the pool of these species is much smaller than that of light-demanding herbs, and hence the total species richness is lower, both locally and in the whole area of the Carpinus and Quercus forests. The strongly shading tree species dominating in the hornbeam forests have higher leaf tissue N and P concentrations and smaller leaf dry matter content, which enhances litter decomposition and nutrient cycling and in turn favored the selection of highly competitive species in the shrub layer. This further reduced available light and caused almost complete disappearance of understory herbs, including dwarf bamboo.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Sample-based rarefaction curves showing an increase in the number of species encountered in three forest types on Halla Volcano, South Korea with growing number of plots for all vacular plants and individual life forms.
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pone-0033065-g003: Sample-based rarefaction curves showing an increase in the number of species encountered in three forest types on Halla Volcano, South Korea with growing number of plots for all vacular plants and individual life forms.

Mentions: When the forest types were compared in terms of local species richness, the lowest numbers of plant species were found in the Quercus forests, intermediate ones in the Carpinus forests and the highest in the Abies forests (Table 1). The opposite was found for the bamboo cover, being the highest in the Quercus forests, and less developed in both the Carpinus and Abies forests (Figure 2 and Table 1). With increasing bamboo cover, the species richness of vascular plants decreased (Table 1). A majority of species displayed an affiliation towards forests with low Sasa bamboo cover (Table 2). The species richness of forbs, grasses and shrubs were lowest in Quercus forests with high bamboo cover. The total species richness of larger areas estimated from the sample-based rarefaction curves (Figure 3) followed the same pattern as the local richness, with the fewest vascular plant species in the Quercus forests and the highest in the Abies forests. From 313 vascular plant taxa recorded within the 146 surveyed plots, 189 were found in the Carpinus forests, 149 in the Quercus forests, and 202 species in the Abies forests. The rarefaction curves estimated for individual life-forms revealed the highest number of shrubs, ferns and forbs species in the Abies forests and the lowest in the Quercus forests, while species richness of trees and lianas was highest in the Carpinus forests and lowest in the Abies forests (Figure 3). High spatial turnover in species composition (beta diversity), indicated by steep rarefaction curves, was found for forbs in the Carpinus and Quercus forests, whereas smaller beta diversity was found for tree species in the Abies forests, and fern species in the Abies and Quercus forests.


Plant diversity changes during the postglacial in East Asia: insights from Forest Refugia on Halla Volcano, Jeju Island.

Dolezal J, Altman J, Kopecky M, Cerny T, Janecek S, Bartos M, Petrik P, Srutek M, Leps J, Song JS - PLoS ONE (2012)

Sample-based rarefaction curves showing an increase in the number of species encountered in three forest types on Halla Volcano, South Korea with growing number of plots for all vacular plants and individual life forms.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3306376&req=5

pone-0033065-g003: Sample-based rarefaction curves showing an increase in the number of species encountered in three forest types on Halla Volcano, South Korea with growing number of plots for all vacular plants and individual life forms.
Mentions: When the forest types were compared in terms of local species richness, the lowest numbers of plant species were found in the Quercus forests, intermediate ones in the Carpinus forests and the highest in the Abies forests (Table 1). The opposite was found for the bamboo cover, being the highest in the Quercus forests, and less developed in both the Carpinus and Abies forests (Figure 2 and Table 1). With increasing bamboo cover, the species richness of vascular plants decreased (Table 1). A majority of species displayed an affiliation towards forests with low Sasa bamboo cover (Table 2). The species richness of forbs, grasses and shrubs were lowest in Quercus forests with high bamboo cover. The total species richness of larger areas estimated from the sample-based rarefaction curves (Figure 3) followed the same pattern as the local richness, with the fewest vascular plant species in the Quercus forests and the highest in the Abies forests. From 313 vascular plant taxa recorded within the 146 surveyed plots, 189 were found in the Carpinus forests, 149 in the Quercus forests, and 202 species in the Abies forests. The rarefaction curves estimated for individual life-forms revealed the highest number of shrubs, ferns and forbs species in the Abies forests and the lowest in the Quercus forests, while species richness of trees and lianas was highest in the Carpinus forests and lowest in the Abies forests (Figure 3). High spatial turnover in species composition (beta diversity), indicated by steep rarefaction curves, was found for forbs in the Carpinus and Quercus forests, whereas smaller beta diversity was found for tree species in the Abies forests, and fern species in the Abies and Quercus forests.

Bottom Line: These diversity changes are, however, difficult to reconstruct from paleoecological sources alone, because macrofossil and pollen records do not provide complete information about species assemblages.Ecologists therefore use information from modern analogues of past communities in order to get a better understanding of past diversity changes.The strongly shading tree species dominating in the hornbeam forests have higher leaf tissue N and P concentrations and smaller leaf dry matter content, which enhances litter decomposition and nutrient cycling and in turn favored the selection of highly competitive species in the shrub layer.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Pruhonice, Czech Republic. dolezal@butbn.cas.cz

ABSTRACT
Understanding how past climate changes affected biodiversity is a key issue in contemporary ecology and conservation biology. These diversity changes are, however, difficult to reconstruct from paleoecological sources alone, because macrofossil and pollen records do not provide complete information about species assemblages. Ecologists therefore use information from modern analogues of past communities in order to get a better understanding of past diversity changes. Here we compare plant diversity, species traits and environment between late-glacial Abies, early-Holocene Quercus, and mid-Holocene warm-temperate Carpinus forest refugia on Jeju Island, Korea in order to provide insights into postglacial changes associated with their replacement. Based on detailed study of relict communities, we propose that the late-glacial open-canopy conifer forests in southern part of Korean Peninsula were rich in vascular plants, in particular of heliophilous herbs, whose dramatic decline was caused by the early Holocene invasion of dwarf bamboo into the understory of Quercus forests, followed by mid-Holocene expansion of strongly shading trees such as maple and hornbeam. This diversity loss was partly compensated in the Carpinus forests by an increase in shade-tolerant evergreen trees, shrubs and lianas. However, the pool of these species is much smaller than that of light-demanding herbs, and hence the total species richness is lower, both locally and in the whole area of the Carpinus and Quercus forests. The strongly shading tree species dominating in the hornbeam forests have higher leaf tissue N and P concentrations and smaller leaf dry matter content, which enhances litter decomposition and nutrient cycling and in turn favored the selection of highly competitive species in the shrub layer. This further reduced available light and caused almost complete disappearance of understory herbs, including dwarf bamboo.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus