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The effects of habitat fragmentation on the reproductive success of Circaeaster agristis in the Wanglang Nature Reserve(PDF)

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

2016 01
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The effects of habitat fragmentation on the reproductive success of Circaeaster agristis in the Wanglang Nature Reserve
QU Jiao1 WU Bixian1 SU Liming2 & CAO Guoxing1 3**
1Faculty of Forestry, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang 611130, China 2Office of Soil and Water Conservation of Pingwu County, Sichuan Province, Pingwu 622550, China
Circaeaster agristis habitat fragmentation population size population density reproduction

Habitat fragmentation and the resulting decline in population size and density commonly reduce the reproductive success of plant species, and is therefore considered a major threat to population viability and persistence. To understand the effects of population size and density on reproductive success is important for guidelines in species conservation. In this research we investigated the impacts of habitat fragmentation on the reproductive success of Circaeaster agristis, a narrow endemic and threatened species, in the Wanglang Nature Reserve. We explored how reproductive success was related to population area and density in 35 populations, and examined the effects of nearest neighbor distance (NND) and local neighbor size (LNS) within the radius of 0.1 m on reproductive success in two of the populations. The results showed that population size and density did not affect fruit (seed) number or fruit set of individual C. agristis (P > 0.05). Within populations, the individual fruit number did not change (P = 0.447), with the individual fruit set increasing independently of plant size (P = 0.032), in response to the increasing NND. Both the individual fruit number (P = 0.001) and individual fruit set (P < 0.001) increased, independently of plant size, with decreases in LNS within a 0.1 m radius. The effect of habitat fragmentation on reproduction of C. agristis is scale-dependent. In contrast to the generally accepted idea that fragmentation reduces plant reproduction, our results indicate that reproductive success may increase in response to the increase of NND or the decrease of LNS in C. agristis.


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Last Update: 2016-02-25