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Local environmental factors shape liana community structure along an elevation gradient in a tropical rainforest

Article

Bin Rahmad, Z; Johari, MS; Addo-Fordjour, P

NA

2022

ECOSCIENCE

29

13-Jan

Knowledge of the drivers of liana community structure is fundamental to understand the processes driving community assembly. We investigated variation in liana community structure (diversity, composition, abundance, basal area, distribution) among different elevations, and assessed the environmental factors structuring composition and distribution. We randomly established thirty 20 x 20 m plots across three elevations (lower = 200 m a.s.l.; middle = 500 m a.s.l.; upper = 850 m a.s.l.) in the Mount Jerai Forest Reserve, Malaysia. We used Canonical Correspondence Analysis to assess the relationships between liana species distribution and composition, and environmental factors. Liana diversity differed significantly among elevations, being highest and lowest in the middle and upper elevations, respectively. Liana abundance and basal area were higher at lower elevations. Species abundance varied significantly across elevations. The environmental factors showed significant variation among the elevations. Liana species composition and distribution patterns were explained by elevation, soil moisture, Ca, P, pH and N. The different environmental factors affected species composition and distribution in different ways. These findings increase our understanding of the drivers of liana community structure and may be useful in liana management and conservation.

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