ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Relationships Between Plant Species Richness and Environmental Factors in Nature Reserves at Different Spatial Scales
Xiuhua Zhang1, 2, Hui Wang1, Renqing Wang1, 3, 4, Yutao Wang4, Jian Liu1
 
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1Institute of Environmental Research, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
2Shandong Urban Construction Vocational College, Jinan 250103, China
3Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, School of Life Sciences,
Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
4Shandong Provincial Engineering and Technology Research Center for Vegetation Ecology,
Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
Online publish date: 2017-08-24
Publish date: 2017-09-28
Submission date: 2016-11-18
Final revision date: 2017-02-14
Acceptance date: 2017-02-16
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2017;26(5):2375–2384
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ABSTRACT
The relationships between species richness and driving factors might vary with taxa and spatial scale. For this study we used plant species data of eight groups from nature reserves in China, namely pteridophytes, gymnosperms, angiosperms, vascular plants, Chinese endemic species, rare and endangered plants, woody plants, and herbaceous plants, and eight putative environmental predictors to explore the relationships between plant species richness and environmental factors at two spatial scales (temperate region and national scale). Our data suggested that area, mean annual temperature, and mean annual precipitation were the determinants of variation in species richness within these eight groups in the temperate nature reserves of Shandong Province in China. The relationships between plant species richness and environmental factors were consistent in different groups. However, the relationships between species richness and mean annual temperature varied with spatial scale. In the temperate region, species richness was negatively correlated with mean annual temperature and positively correlated with mean annual precipitation, whereas on a national scale species richness was positively correlated with both mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation. Our study confirmed that the relationships between plant species richness and environmental factors in nature reserves were consistent in the studied groups and varied with spatial scale.
eISSN:2083-5906
ISSN:1230-1485