loading page

Resource availability is much more important than resource heterogeneity in determining the species diversity and abundance of karst plant communities
  • +5
  • Yuan LIU,
  • Wenchao Qi,
  • Danni He,
  • Yunrong Xiang,
  • Jin Chun Liu,
  • Huimin Huang,
  • Miao Chen,
  • Jian Tao
Yuan LIU
Southwestern University
Author Profile
Wenchao Qi
State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University
Author Profile
Danni He
Key Laboratory of Eco-environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources Research in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University
Author Profile
Yunrong Xiang
Key Laboratory of Eco-environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources Research in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University
Author Profile
Jin Chun Liu
Key Laboratory of Eco-environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources Research in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University
Author Profile
Huimin Huang
Key Laboratory of Eco-environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources Research in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University
Author Profile
Miao Chen
Southwest University
Author Profile
Jian Tao
Southwest University
Author Profile

Abstract

Resource availability and heterogeneity are recognized as two essential environmental aspects to determine species diversity and community abundance. However, how resource availability and heterogeneity determine species diversity and community abundance in highly heterogeneous and most fragile karst landscapes is largely unknown. We examined the effects of resource availability and heterogeneity on plant community composition and quantified their relative contribution by variation partitioning. Then, a structural equation model (SEM) was used to further disentangle the multiple direct and indirect effects of resource availability on plant community composition. Species diversity was significantly influenced by the resource availability in shrubland and woodland but not by the heterogeneity in woodland. Abundance was significantly affected by both resource availability and heterogeneity, whereas variation partitioning results showed that resource availability explained the majority of the variance in abundance, and the contribution of resource heterogeneity was marginal. These results indicated that resource availability plays a more important role in determining karst plant community composition than resource heterogeneity. Our SEMs further found that the multiple direct and indirect processes of resource availability in determining karst species diversity and abundance were different in different vegetation types. Resource availability and heterogeneity both played a certain role in determining karst plant community composition, while the importance of resource availability far exceeded resource heterogeneity. We propose that steering community restoration and reconstruction should be highly dependent on resource availability, and multiple direct and indirect pathways of resource availability for structuring karst plant communities need to be taken into account.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

27 Mar 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
31 Mar 2021Assigned to Editor
31 Mar 2021Submission Checks Completed
05 Apr 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned