Changes in vegetation after 22 years' natural restoration in the Karst disturbed area in northwestern Guangxi, China


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December 2007


Variations of plant vegetation and spatial distribution were investigated in the areas of 4 types of typical disturbance, which had been under natural restoration for 22 years in the Karst area in northwestern Guangxi while the climax plant community was utilized as control. The slope scale and disturbance theory were used to study the plant diversity in the whole area and selected plots. It is clear that the disturbance had resulted in severe loss of plant species, and only 241 species of vascular plants that belong to 91 families and 206 genera survived in disturbed areas, accounting only for 26.6% of those in the natural reserve area. The consequent succession of 6 types of plant vegetation was sparse grass of rocky desertification, grass, shrub, liana-shrub, deciduous broad-leaved forest and mixed segment of evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved forest. The height, coverage, biomass and species diversity of plants decreased sharply with slope elevating, and the plant density appeared with normal distribution. Compared with the natural reserve area, all indices of plant vegetation in disturbed areas were much worse. Furthermore, different types of disturbance showed various affections on natural vegetative restoration, among which tilling after the whole slope was set on fire caused the worst impact and rocky desertification was the consequence, followed by depasturing after the whole slope was set on fire. Cutting was selective disturbance, and the vegetative restoration in the area with combination of cutting, grazing and setting on fire on the upper slope was relatively fast; however, it was even better in the area with combination of cutting and setting the upper slope on fire. In our studies, 4 strategies for vegetative recovery, using both natural and artificial approaches, were established, which were suitable for the Karst area in northwestern Guangxi.


Disturbanc, Enatural Vegetation, Vegetation Characteristics, Community Succession, Karst Area

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Acta Ecologica Sinica, Vol. 27, no. 12 (2007-12-01).