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      Woody Species Diversity in Forest Plantations in a Mountainous Region of Beijing, China: Effects of Sampling Scale and Species Selection

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          The role of forest plantations in biodiversity conservation has gained more attention in recent years. However, most work on evaluating the diversity of forest plantations focuses only on one spatial scale; thus, we examined the effects of sampling scale on diversity in forest plantations. We designed a hierarchical sampling strategy to collect data on woody species diversity in planted pine ( Pinus tabuliformis Carr.), planted larch ( Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr.), and natural secondary deciduous broadleaf forests in a mountainous region of Beijing, China. Additive diversity partition analysis showed that, compared to natural forests, the planted pine forests had a different woody species diversity partitioning pattern at multi-scales (except the Simpson diversity in the regeneration layer), while the larch plantations did not show multi-scale diversity partitioning patterns that were obviously different from those in the natural secondary broadleaf forest. Compare to the natural secondary broadleaf forests, the effects of planted pine forests on woody species diversity are dependent on the sampling scale and layers selected for analysis. Diversity in the planted larch forest, however, was not significantly different from that in the natural forest for all diversity components at all sampling levels. Our work demonstrated that the species selected for afforestation and the sampling scales selected for data analysis alter the conclusions on the levels of diversity supported by plantations. We suggest that a wide range of scales should be considered in the evaluation of the role of forest plantations on biodiversity conservation.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Pattern and process in neotropical secondary rain forests: the first 100 years of succession.

           B Finegan (1996)
          More and more areas of deforested wet tropical lands are being handed back to nature as their erstwhile owners abandon attempts to farm them. The resulting secondary successions offer hope that some of the unique characteristics of the original rain forests may be recovered and conserved. However, most of our understanding of what secondary tropical rain forests are and how and why they develop is limited to the first decade of a process that may last for centuries. A longer-term view indicates that the causes of change in neotropical secondary successions are similar to those operating in temperate forests, but yields sobering conclusions for conservation.
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            Scale dependence in plant biodiversity.

            The relationship between the number of species and the area sampled is one of the oldest and best-documented patterns in community ecology. Several theoretical models and field data from a wide range of plant and animal taxa suggest that the slope, z, of a graph of the logarithm of species richness against the logarithm of area is roughly constant, with z approximately 0.25. We collected replicated and randomized plant data at 11 spatial scales from 0.01 to 10(8) square meters in Great Britain which show that the slope of the log-log plot is not constant, but varies systematically with spatial scale, and from habitat to habitat at the same spatial scale. Values of z were low (0.1 to 0.2) at small scales (<100 square meters), high (0.4 to 0.5) at intermediate scales (1 hectare to 10 square kilometers), and low again (0.1 to 0.2) for the largest scale transitions (e.g., East Berks to all of Berkshire). Instead of one process determining changes in species richness across a wide range of scales, different processes might determine plant biodiversity at different spatial scales.
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              Partitioning diversity.


                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                29 December 2014
                : 9
                : 12
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
                [2 ]Global Ecological Change Laboratory, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
                Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: YZ SZ KM BF. Performed the experiments: YZ SZ. Analyzed the data: YZ SZ KM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: YZ SZ MA. Wrote the paper: YZ SZ KM BF MA.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 20
                This research is supported by the Innovation Project of the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology of China (SKLURE2013-1-02) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (31370451). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Plant Ecology
                Plant Communities
                Forest Ecology
                Restoration Ecology
                Terrestrial Ecology
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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                The authors confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction. All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.



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