The 20-ha (500×400m) Tiantongshan Forest Dynamics Plot was established in 2010 in the Tiantong National Forest Park (29.8°N, 121.8°E) of the Zhejiang Province, eastern China. The forest community in the plot is considered as a typical lower subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest. The plot's floristic composition is transitional between the temperate and subtropical. According to the second survey finished in 2015, there are 120,729 individual trees, belonging to 154 species, 97 genera, and 52 families. The vertical structure of the forest is clear, with two canopy tree layers (upper and lower), one shrub layer, and one herb layer. Choerospondias axillaris, Lithocarpus megalophyllus, and Cyclobalanopsis sessilifolia are the three most dominant species in the upper tree layer. There are many shade-tolerant and intermediate light-demanding species such as Litsea elongata and Distylium Myricoides in the mid-layer. The understory layer is rich and complex with high variability in species composition.
Vertical structure of the forest community in the plot is distinguishable, classified into three layers from canopy story to sub-canopy story and shrub storey.The structure of the forest community is stable and DBH distribution of all trees followed a reverse “J” shape. Mean DBH of all individuals is 5.66 cm. Proportion of small (DBH<5cm) individuals achieves 70.3%.
The first re-census was completed in 2015. The total number of free-standing individuals (including branches, sprouting branches) increased from 132,000 to 170,000. 190,000 records of data were recorded in this re-census, including 58,000 recruitment data, and 20,000 death data. Detailed changes in species richness were still in preparation. Several species, i.e. Melia azedarach, Zanthoxylum ailanthoides and Fortunearia sinensis were newly observed species. and others, i.e. Rhamnus crenata, were locally extinct. Replacement, growth and death of different species have different patterns.
Principal Investigator: Wang Xihua, professor of East China Normal University. His research is mainly focused on vegetation ecology and restoration ecology.
Research Team: Chen Xiaoyong, Yan Enrong, Yang Haibo, Shen Guochun, Yang Qiongsong, Zheng Zemei, Yao Fangfang