Dynamics of plant functional groups composition along environmental gradients in the typical area of Yi- Luo River watershed
Biomass of dominant and companion species in plant functional groups may reflect associations among plant functional groups and species replacement along environmental (elevation) gradients in the typical area of Yi-Luo River. Using community ecology techniques, these researchers examined the influences of elevation factors on plant functional group dynamics and population interactions along elevation gradients in the drainage area of Yi-Luo River. Leaf/stem/fruit/total biomass of dominant and companion species in plant functional groups were calculated and the correlation between elevation and species biomass was analyzed. We showed that elevation was the most important environmental factor affecting the distribution pattern of biomass of plant functional groups composition. Total leaf and stem and fruit biomasses of dominant and companion 19 perennial herbaceous species in plant functional groups were significantly correlated with elevation gradient (P<0.05, P<0.01). Understanding the changes and their causes in these PFG is essential for further research of local ecosystem functions and the goal of sustainable development in the context of biodiversity conservation.
Key words: Plant functional groups, environmental gradients, biomass, elevation, correlation.