Community assembly during secondary forest succession in a Chinese subtropical forest

Helge Bruelheide*, Martin Boehnke, Sabine Both, Teng Fang, Thorsten Assmann, Martin Baruffol, Juergen Bauhus, Francois Buscot, Xiao-Yong Chen, Bing-Yang Ding, Walter Durka, Alexandra Erfmeier, Markus Fischer, Christian Geissler, Dali Guo, Liang-Dong Guo, Werner Haerdtle, Jin-Sheng He, Andy Hector, Wenzel KroeberPeter Kuehn, Anne C. Lang, Karin Nadrowski, Kequan Pei, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Xuezheng Shi, Thomas Scholten, Andreas Schuldt, Stefan Trogisch, Goddert von Oheimb, Erik Welk, Christian Wirth, Yu-Ting Wu, Xuefei Yang, Xueqin Zeng, Shouren Zhang, Hongzhang Zhou, Keping Ma, Bernhard Schmid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Citations (Scopus)


Subtropical broad-leaved forests in southeastern China support a high diversity of woody plants. Using a comparative study design with 30330 m plots (n=27) from five successional stages (, 20,,40,,60,,80, and >= 80 yr), we investigated how the gradient in species composition reflects underlying processes of community assembly. In particular, we tested whether species richness of adult trees and shrubs decreased or increased and assessed to which degree this pattern was caused by negative density dependence or continuous immigration over time. Furthermore, we tested whether rare species were increasingly enriched and the species composition of adult trees and shrubs became more similar to species composition of seedlings during the course of succession. We counted the individuals of all adult species and shrubs >1 m in height in each plot and counted all woody recruits (bank of all seedlings

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-41
Number of pages17
JournalEcological Monographs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • BEF-China
  • chronosequence
  • detrended correspondence analysis (DCA)
  • Gutianshan national nature reserve
  • immigration
  • negative density dependence
  • nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS)
  • permanent forest dynamic plots
  • random assembly
  • secondary forest succession
  • Zhejiang Province, China
  • broad-leaved forest
  • plant diversity
  • species-diversity
  • tropical forests
  • grassland experiment
  • neotropical forest
  • temporal patterns
  • tree diversity
  • rain-forests
  • conservation


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