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Species composition and diversity of ground bryophytes across a forest edge-to-interior gradient.


ABSTRACT: Understanding diversity patterns and community structure of bryophytes will help integrate nature conservation at multiple biotic-group levels. We conducted a survey of ground bryophytes in a subtropical forest along an edge-to-interior gradient in South China. We recorded 11 liverwort species from 10 genera of seven families, and 26 moss species from 23 genera of 16 families in three transects. A two-way cluster analysis detected the environmental gradient between the forest edge and forest interior for bryophytes with habitat specificity. Functional diversity of bryophytes differed significantly across an edge-to-interior gradient. The range and median in both structural and functional diversity decreased remarkably from the forest edge to the interior. Multi-response permutation procedures showed significant differences in species composition between the forest-edge and forest-interior, and between the intermediate and forest-interior transects. Seven species were detected with a significant indicator value for indicating environmental conditions in the forest edge, while only one such species was found indicative of the intermediate transect. Our results demonstrate that remarkable edge effects exist for species composition and functional diversity patterns, and the forest edge is a marginal habitat with high biotic heterogeneity. Furthermore, functional diversity metrics are more sensitive to the edge effect than species diversity.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6082881 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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