Understory Plant Composition and Its Relations with Environmental Factors of the Lienhuachih Forest Dynamics Plot at a Subtropical Evergreen Broadleaf Forest in Central Taiwan
The understory distribution is affected by the micro-environment's characteristics, and so the composition and distribution of that are of interest to ecologists. It is a basis for understanding forest dynamics and plant regeneration. This study was conducted at the Lienhuachih forest dynamics plot in lowlands of central Taiwan. This research set up 6 transects to investigate understory and environmental factors, and to discuss relationships among species, composition of the understory, and environmental characteristics. The understory was divided 3 groups of ferns, herbs and vines, and tree saplings. We tabulated 247 species in the composition, including 65 species of ferns, 77 of herbs and vines, and 103 of saplings. Using a canonical correspondence analysis to detect understory vegetation and environmental factors, we found that soil moisture and canopy openness were the most important factors affecting the understory composition and distribution. Significant negative relationships among the 3 groups were found. A significant positive relationship between saplings and canopy species was displayed, so most species regenerated well. Depending on the different species, a species' distribution was affected by environmental factors, and was also related to other species' distribution.
Abstract in English; article in Chinese.