Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 350-368.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1840-1

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North-south vegetation transition in the eastern Qinling-Daba Mountains

ZHANG Xinghang1,2(), ZHANG Baiping1,*(), WANG Jing1,2, YU Fuqin1,2, ZHAO Chao3, YAO Yonghui1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing 100007, China
  • Received:2020-10-15 Accepted:2020-12-21 Online:2021-03-25 Published:2021-05-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Baiping E-mail:jhj580724@l63.com;zhangbp@igsnrr.ac.cn
  • About author:Zhang Xinghang (1992–), PhD Candidate, specialized in mountain geography and ecological environment. E-mail: jhj580724@l63.com
  • Supported by:
    National Scientific and Technological Basic Resources Investigation Project(2017FY100900)

Abstract:

The Qinling-Daba Mountains are the main body of China’s North-South Transitional Zone. Analysis of the north-south gradual variation of vegetation components is significant for understanding the structural diversity and complexity of this transitional zone. In this study, based on survey data of plant communities, the eastern Qinling-Daba Mountains is divided into four geographic units: the north flank of eastern Qinling Mts., south flank of eastern Qinling Mts., north flank of eastern Daba Mts. and south flank of eastern Daba Mts. We also explore division of regional climate according to areal differentiation of plant-species, community structure and species-richness, respectively. The results show that, (1) at plant-species level, there are mainly northern plants in north flank of eastern Qinling Mts. with evergreen species and fewer northern plants in south flank of eastern Qinling Mts.; there are mainly southern plants in eastern Daba Mts. (2) At community structure level, there are 4 formations (3 northern formations and 1 widespread formation) in north flank of eastern Qinling, 6 formations (3 northern formations, 1 southern formation, and 2 widespread formations) in south flank of eastern Qinling, 4 formations (2 southern formations and 2 widespread formations) in north flank of eastern Daba Mts., and 3 formations (3 southern formations) in south flank of eastern Daba Mts. In terms of the numbers and properties of formations, there is a mixture of northern and southern formations only in the south flank of eastern Qinling Mts. (3) At species-richness level, the diversity of families, genera and species decreased with increasing latitude, but the mixing of northern plants and the southern plants began to occur in south flank of eastern Qinling Mts. This means that the south flank of the eastern Qinling Mts. serves more suitably as the dividing line between China’s warm temperate and subtropical zones.

Key words: China’s north-south transitional zone, eastern Qinling-Daba Mountains, north-south transect, vegetation series, climate north-south dividing line