, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 175-180

Effects of environmental factors on species richness patterns of herb layer in Eastern Zhongtiao Mountain

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The species richness of herb layer was investigated among 43 plots of forest vegetation in the eastern Zhongtiao Mountain, in southern Shanxi Province, China. The forest vegetation was divided into two major vegetation types such as the deciduous forest and the coniferous forest by the two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN). The species richness of herb layer was fitted in the topographic and soil feature factors, as well as the topographic relative moisture index (TRMI) by the generalized linear models (GLM). The results showed that canopy cover and altitude were the most significant environmental factors. Soil pH value and soil nutrients index such as total N, organic matter content had no significant influence. The effect of environment factors on species richness of herb layer had significant difference in vegetation types. For the broad-leaved forest, litter depth and TRMI were the important environment factors. For the coniferous forest, soil clay content was another important environment factor. The range of environmental gradient such as altitude may contribute to the difference.