Species turnover is fundamental for understanding the mechanisms that influence large-scale species richness patterns. However, few studies have described and interpreted large-scale spatial variation in plant species turnover, and the causes of this variation remain elusive. In addition, the determinants of species turnover depend on the dispersal ability of growth forms. In this study, we explored the large-scale patterns of woody species turnover across the latitude gradient based on eight large stem-mapping plots (covering 184 ha forest) in East Asia. The patterns of woody species turnover increased significantly with increasing latitude differences in East Asia. For overall woody species, environment explained 36.30, 37.20, and 48.48% of the total variance in Jaccard's (betaj), Sorenson's, (betas), and Simpson's dissimilarity (betasim). Spatial factors explained 47.92, 48.39, and 41.38% of the total variance in betaj, betas, and betasim, respectively. The effects of pure spatial and spatially structured environments were stronger than pure environmental effects for overall woody species. Our results support the hypothesis that the effect of neutral processes on woody species turnover is more important than the effect of the environment. Neutral processes explained more variation for turnover of tree species, and environmental factors explained more variation for the turnover of shrub species on a large scale. Therefore, trees and shrubs should be subjected to different protection strategies in future biodiversity conservation efforts.
Chen, Y., Yuan, Z., Li, P., Cao, R., Jia, H., & Ye, Y. (2016). Effects of Environment and Space on Species Turnover of Woody Plants across Multiple Forest Dynamic Plots in East Asia. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01533