Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 2169–2185 | Cite as

Scale-dependent effects of landscape pattern on plant diversity in Hunshandak Sandland

  • Min Fan
  • Qinghui Wang
  • Kai Mi
  • Yu PengEmail author
Original Paper


The influence of landscape pattern on plant diversity has strong scale-dependent effects. However, the relationship is still unclear for sandy land, which covers more than one-third of the world’s land mass. Aiming at exploring such scale-dependent effects in sandy land, we conducted a case study in Hunshandak Sandland, northern China. Principal component analysis (PCA) and Redundancy Analysis (RDA) was used to disentangle the relations between landscape pattern and alpha and beta plant diversity. Our results show that landscape pattern has an important influence on plant diversity, however, there existed scale effects. Landscape diversity enhanced the alpha diversity, conversely, reduced the beta diversity for all scales. PSSD (Patch Size Standard Deviation) positively related with alpha diversity whilst negatively related with beta diversity on moderate and large spatial scales, same as LPI (Largest Patch Index) on moderate scales. Shape complexity of patches can slightly increase both alpha and beta diversity at large scales. The adjustment of landscape pattern based on different spatial scales can enhance plant diversity. It is useful to improve plant diversity conservation in sandy land.


Landscape metrics Plant species diversity Scale effects Sandy land Correlation analysis 



The study was financially supported by the 111 Program of the Bureau of China Foreign Experts and the Ministry of Education (2008-B08044); the Top Discipline and First-class University Constriction Project (ydzxxk201618) of Minzu University of China; the 985 Project (MUC98504-14, MUC98507-8) of Minzu University of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life & Environmental SciencesMinzu University of ChinaBeijingChina

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