Based on a field investigation in the sample of an old growth subalpine coniferous forests in Qinling Mountains (China), we recognized the gap-forming processes in Larix chinensis forest for four representative patches (gap phases (G), building phases (B), mature phases (M) and degenerate phases (D)). The distribution pattern of four different patches and heterogeneity of the light and temperature were analyzed. The percentages of four different patch types (G, B, M and D) were 32.3%, 24.5%, 23.5% and 19.7%, respectively. The light and temperature had significant change among four patch types. From 6 to 20 o’clock, gap patch types changed more significantly than other three phases. The light and temperature regimes in mature patch type had a relatively mild change. Such micro-environmental heterogeneity among four different patches can lead to species niche partitioning, and some deterministic factors are benefit to the coexistence of various species with different characteristics within forest community.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 24, 2014
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