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Ecological characteristics ofAbies georgeipopulation at timberline on the north-facing slope of Baima Snow Mountain, Southwest China

Acta Ecologica Sinica
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1872-2032(08)60022-0
  • Static Life Table
  • Survival Analysis
  • Spatial Point Pattern
  • Population Ecology
  • Alpine Timberline


Abstract Abies georgei is one of the endemic trees at timberline on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, but little research has been done about its timberline population. One plot was set up at timberline above 4400 m on the north-facing slope of Baima Snow Mountain in Southwest China, covering an area of 0.8 hm 2. Height, DBH (diameter at breast high) or root-collar diameter of seedlings and saplings, and position were recorded for each individual. The population showed a growing trend and the number of individuals decreased with increase of DBH. The survival curve can be described by Deevy-III. The population had 2 distinct peaks of mortality: age I (seedlings, DBH = 0–5 cm) and age V-VI (DBH = 20–30 cm). The highest mortality of seedlings was due to severe climate at timberline. As the saplings grew up, the interspecific and intraspecific competition resulted in another mortality peak. Through SPPA (spatial point pattern analysis), individuals of all age-classes showed uniform, random or clumped distribution with the change of scales; however, they had mainly clumped distribution. Moreover, the relationships between individuals in different age-classes were all significantly correlated with each other. Seedlings showed the highest clumping intensity and scale.

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