Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 14657-14684, 2013
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in BG.
Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests
G. Feng1, X. C. Mi2, P. K. Bøcher1, L. F. Mao3, B. Sandel1, M. Cao4, W. H. Ye5, Z. Q. Hao6, H. D. Gong4, Y. T. Zhang7, X. H. Zhao8, G. Z. Jin9, K. P. Ma2, and J.-C. Svenning1
1Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity Group, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 114, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing, 100093, China
3Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824, USA
4Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 650223, Kunming, China
5Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 510650, Guangzhou, China
6State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O.Box 417, 110016, Shenyang, China
7Institute of Forest Ecology, Xinjiang Academy of Forestry, 830000, Urumqi, China
8Key Laboratory for Forest Resources and Ecosystem Processes of Beijing, Beijing Forestry University, 100083, Beijing, China
9Center for Ecological Research, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, 150040, China

Abstract. The main processes underlying the generation and maintenance of biodiversity include both local factors such as competition and abiotic filtering and regional forces such as palaeoclimate, speciation and dispersal. While the effects of regional and local drivers on species diversity are increasingly studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax), probably reflecting the dominant role of competition for light in determining the forest Hmax structure. In contrast, the LGM-present anomaly in temperature was the factor with the strongest explanatory power for phylogenetic diversity, with modern climate also important. Hence, local contemporary and regional historical factors have highly contrasting importance for the geographic patterns of the functional and phylogenetic aspects of Chinese forest woody plant diversity. Importantly, contemporary factors are of overriding importance for functional diversity, while palaeoclimate has left a strong signature in the phylogenetic diversity patterns.

Citation: Feng, G., Mi, X. C., Bøcher, P. K., Mao, L. F., Sandel, B., Cao, M., Ye, W. H., Hao, Z. Q., Gong, H. D., Zhang, Y. T., Zhao, X. H., Jin, G. Z., Ma, K. P., and Svenning, J.-C.: Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests, Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 14657-14684, doi:10.5194/bgd-10-14657-2013, 2013.
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