Data were collected simultaneously at different succession stages using a space-for-time substitution, and were analyzed using the quantitative classification method (TWINSPAN) and the ordination technique (DCA). The community succession of natural colonized plants on abandoned hilly lands in Shanxi are below: Assoc. Potentilla chinensis + Setaria viridis → Assoc. Artemisia sacrorum + S. viridis +Oxytropis caoraloa → Assoc. A. sacrorum + Artemisia capillaries → Assoc. A. capillaries + Pedivularis shansiensis + Echinops pseudosetifer → Assoc.Hippophae rhamnoides– A. sacrorum + Cleistogenes squarrosa → Assoc. H. rhamnoides + Ostryopsis davidiana–A. sacrorum → Assoc. O. davidiana–A. sacrorum + Dendranthema chanetii → Assoc. Populus davidiana–Caragana korshinskii–A. sacrorum → Assoc. Larix principis-rupprechtii–H. rhamnoides–A. sacrorum. This established a recovery model of natural vegetation on abandoned hilly lands in Shanxi. The structure, composition and life-forms changed significantly during succession. Four indices of species diversity were used to analyze changes in the heterogeneity, dominance, richness and evenness of species during the succession process. The species richness and heterogeneity of plant communities increased significantly, the dominance decreased obviously and the evenness decreased slightly. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) also proved the significance of these five indices. Pioneer species of S. viridis, A. sacrorum, O. caoraloa, A. capillaries, P. shansiensis, E. pseudosetifer, C. squarrosa, H. rhamnoides, O. davidia, C. korshinskii, P. davidiana and L. principis-rupprechtii, etc. colonize successfully and play important roles on the vegetation restoration of abandoned hilly lands.
Keywords: Abandoned hilly lands, vegetation community succession, environmental biological process, soil quality.
DBH, Diameter at breast height; TWINSPAN; two-way indicator-species analysis. DCA, de-trended correspondence analysis; DS, dominance index; EA, species evenness;
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