Advertisement

Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 126, Issue 5, pp 651–659 | Cite as

Population persistence of a Tertiary relict tree Tetracentron sinense on the Ailao Mountains, Yunnan, China

  • Cindy Q. Tang
  • Ming-Chun Peng
  • Long-Yuan He
  • Masahiko Ohsawa
  • Chong-Yun Wang
  • Tian-Hua Xie
  • Wen-Shun Li
  • Jia-Ping Li
  • Hong-Yu Zhang
  • Yong Li
  • Xian-Ming Yang
  • Guo-Song Li
Regular Paper

Abstract

The persistence of the Tertiary relict tree Tetracentron sinense Oliv. on the eastern slope of the Ailao Mountains, Yunnan, SW China, was here studied in terms of population structure (size, age) and regeneration patterns. T. sinense occurred in unstable habitats by stream banks, on steep slopes, on scree slopes, or on roadsides near streams in narrow valleys, all places subject to frequent natural disturbances, whereas none were found on stable gentle slopes free of major disturbances at similar altitudes. Further, no established saplings of T. sinense were found in forests having high bamboo (Yushania crassicollis Yi) coverage in their understory. The size and age structure of T. sinense were multimodal. The reproduction of the tree was either by means of abundant minute wind-dispersed seeds or by resprouts in unstable habitats. These populations depended on disturbance or gap regeneration to survive. T. sinense, along with other tree life-forms including evergreen broad-leaved species and conifers, dominated in the forest canopy layer, even reaching the emergent layer in places. Results of the study provide insight into the ecological characteristics and survival mechanisms of this East Asian paleoendemic tree species. The study will provide a scientific basis for recommendations for the conservation of this species and for other Tertiary relict plants having similar regeneration dynamics.

Keywords

Age structure Canopy gap Natural disturbance Regeneration pattern Tetracentron sinense Tertiary relict 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study is financially supported by the Pro Natura Fundation-Japan for 2010-2011, Grant No. S0801024 from Tokyo University of Information Sciences, Japan, and Grant No. NSF31160080 from the Natural Science Foundation of China. Sincere thanks to all the staff of the National Nature Reserve of the Ailao Mountains, Xinping Management Bureau, for helping our field investigation.

References

  1. Axelrod DI, Al-Shehbaz I, Raven PH (1996) History of the modern flora of China. In: Zhang A, Wu S (eds) Floristic characteristics and diversity of East Asia plants. Springer, New York, pp 43–55Google Scholar
  2. Bond WJ, Midgley JJ (2001) Ecology of sprouting in woody plants: the persistence niche. Trends Ecol Evol 16:45–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen L, Ren Y, Endress PK, Tian XH, Zhang XH (2007) Floral organogenesis in Tetracentron sinense (Trochodendraceae) and its systematic significance. Plant Syst Evol 264:183–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chu K-L, Cooper WS (1950) An ecological reconnaissance in the native home of Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Ecology 31:260–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Doweld AB (1998) Carpology, seed anatomy and taxonomic relationships of Tetracentron (Tetracentraceae) and Trochodendron (Trochodendraceae). Ann Bot 82:413–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duncan RP (1993) Flood disturbance and the coexistence of species in a lowland podocarp forest, South Westland, New Zealand. J Ecol 81:403–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fu DZ, Bartholomew B (2001) Tetracentraceae. In: Wu CY, Raven PH (eds) Flora of China, vol 6. Science Press/Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing/St. Louis, p 125Google Scholar
  8. Fu L-K, Jin J-M (1992) China Plant Red Data Book—rare and endangered plants. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  9. Guan Z-T, Chen Y (1986) A preliminary study on the Cathaya mixed forest in Jinfushan, Sichuan. Acta Bot Sin 28:646–656 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Jiang M, Wu J, Ge J (2000) Studies on flora and ecological features of endangered plant communities in Songziyuan, the southern slope of Mt. Shengnongjia. J Wuhan Bot Res 18:368–374Google Scholar
  11. Manchester SR, Chen I (2006) Tetracentron fruits from the Miocene of Western North America. Intern J Plant Sci 167:601–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McCune B, Mefford MJ (1999) PC-ORD: multivariate analysis of ecological data, Version 4 MjM Software Design, Gleneden BeachGoogle Scholar
  13. Ohsawa M (1984) Differentiation of vegetation zones and species strategies in the subalpine region of Mt. Fuji. Vegetatio 57:15–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ohsawa M (1987a) Vegetation zones in the Bhutan Himalaya. In: Ohsawa M (ed) Life zone ecology of the Bhutan Himalaya. Chiba University, Chiba, pp 1–71Google Scholar
  15. Ohsawa M (1987b) Habitat differentiation and ecological niche in vegetation. Physiol Ecol Japan 24(Special No.):15–27Google Scholar
  16. Pan KY, Li JH, Lu AM, Wen J (1993) The embryology of Tetracentron sinense Oliv. and its systematic significance. Cathaya 5:49–58Google Scholar
  17. Pielou EC (1969) An introduction to mathematical ecology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Qin HN (2004) Tetracentraceae. In: Wu CY (ed) Flora reipublicae popularis sinicae, vol 1. Science Press, Beijing, pp 767–769Google Scholar
  19. Ren Y, Chen L, Tian XH, Zhang XH, Lu AM (2007) Discovery of vessels in Tetracentron (Trochodendraceae) and its systematic significance. Plant Syst Evol 267:155–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Runkle JR (1981) Gap regeneration in some old-growth forests of the eastern United States. Ecology 62:1041–1051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Smith AC (1945) A taxonomic review of Tetracentron and Trochodendron. J Arnold Arbor 26:123–142Google Scholar
  22. Tang CQ, Ohsawa M (2002a) Tertiary relic deciduous forests on a humid subtropical mountain, Mt. Emei, Sichuan, China. Folia Geobot 37:93–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tang CQ, Ohsawa M (2002b) Coexistence mechanisms of evergreen, deciduous and coniferous trees in a mid-montane mixed forest on Mt. Emei, Sichuan, China. Plant Ecol 161:215–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tang CQ, Ohsawa M (2009) Ecology of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests of Yunnan, southwestern China as compared to those of southwestern Japan. J Plant Res 122:335–350PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tang CQ, Hou X, Gao K, Xia T, Duan C, Fu D (2007a) Man-made versus natural forests in mid-Yunnan, southwestern China: plant diversity and initial data on water and soil conservation. Mt Res Dev 27:242–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tang CQ, Li T, Zhu X (2007b) Structure and regeneration dynamics of three subtropical midmontane moist evergreen broadleaved forests in southwestern China, with special reference to bamboo in the forest understories. Can J Forest Res 37:2701–2714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tang CQ, Li Y-H, Zhang Z-Y (2010) Species diversity patterns of natural secondary plant communities and man-made forests in a subtropical mountainous karst area, Yunnan, SW China. Mt Res Dev 30:244–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tang CQ, Yang Y, Ohsawa M, Momohara A, Hara M, Cheng S, Fan S (2011a) Population structure of relict Metasequoia glyptostroboides and its habitat fragmentation and degradation in south-central China. Biol Conserv 144:279–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tang CQ, He L-Y, Gao Z, Zhao X-F, Sun W-B, Ohsawa M (2011b) Habitat fragmentation, degradation, and population status of endangered Michellia coriacea in southeastern Yunnan, China. Mt Res Dev 31:343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tang CQ, Yang Y, Ohsawa M, Yi S-R, Momohara A, Su W-H, Wang H-C, Zhang Z-Y, Peng M-C, Wu Z-L (2012) Evidence for the persistence of wild Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgoaceae) populations in the Dalou Mountains, southwestern China. Am J Bot 99:1408–1414PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Taylor AH, Qin Z (1988) Regeneration patterns in old growth Abies-Betula forests in the Wolong Natural Reserve, Sichuan, China. J Ecol 76:1204–1218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Veblen TT, Veblen AT, Schlegel FM (1979) Understory patterns in mixed evergreen–deciduous Nothofagus forests in Chile. J Ecol 67:809–823CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Whittaker RH, Niering WA (1968) Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona. IV. Limestone and acid soils. J Ecol 56:523–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wu Z (ed) (1980) Vegetation of China. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  35. Ying T-S, Zhang Y-L, Boufford DE (1993) The endemic genera of seed plants of China. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy Q. Tang
    • 1
  • Ming-Chun Peng
    • 1
  • Long-Yuan He
    • 1
  • Masahiko Ohsawa
    • 1
  • Chong-Yun Wang
    • 1
  • Tian-Hua Xie
    • 2
  • Wen-Shun Li
    • 2
  • Jia-Ping Li
    • 2
  • Hong-Yu Zhang
    • 2
  • Yong Li
    • 2
  • Xian-Ming Yang
    • 2
  • Guo-Song Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and GeobotanyYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.National Nature Reserve of the Ailao MountainsXinping Management BureauXinpingChina

Personalised recommendations