Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2017, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (5): 598-607.DOI: 10.11983/CBB16191

• EXPERIMENTAL COMMUNICATIONS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial Distribution Pattern of Epilithic Moss Homomallium simlaense Patches in Rocky Desertification Habitats in Zhongliang Mountain, Chongqing, Southwest China

Chengqiang Dang, Huimin Huang, Rong Dong, Miao Chen, Ting Gao, Jianping Tao*()   

  1. Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Resources Research in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Ministry of Education, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:2016-09-25 Accepted:2017-03-06 Online:2017-09-01 Published:2017-07-10
  • Contact: Jianping Tao

Abstract: The present study used O-ring Point Pattern Analysis to analyze the spatial distribution patterns of three sizes of moss patches in the Karst area of Zhongliang Mountain, Chongqing, to understand the ecological characteristics and process of the common epilithic moss species Homomallium simlaense. Data were from 0.75 hm2 sample plots in three rocky desertification habitats (potential, slight, and medium rocky desertification). The total number of H. simlaense patches was higher in slight rocky desertification plots, then potential rock desertification plots; medium rock desertification plots had lower patch number. In the three habitats, the changes in patch number were from small patches>medium patches>large patches. Small and medium patches were significantly clustered at small scales but randomly distributed at other scales; however, the large patches randomly distributed at all scales. We found a positive correlation between medium and small patches at small scales in the three habitats and no significant correlation between large and medium patches at most scales, except small scales in potential rocky desertification plots. Relative humidity was the most important environmental factor affecting the moss patch distribution, and the slope and number of rock fracture also played a significant role. Small and medium patches tended to aggregate with increasing moisture and shade stress. Moss patch size and its distribution pattern are good predictors of the ecological restoration in Karst rocky desertification areas.

Key words: rocky desertification habitat, patch size, spatial distribution pattern, stress gradient hypothesis