Table of Content

Open AccessOpen Access


Utility of taxonomic unit and life form in the analysis of plant diversity patterns in a temperate meadow steppe, China

Han DY1,2, YF Yang2

1 School of Chemistry & Bioscience, Yili Normal University, Yining, China 835000.
2 Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University,Changchun 130024, China.

Address correspondence to: Yungfei Yang, Tel: +86043185098994, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2018, 87(all), 113-122.


Rapid and precise assessment of biodiversity is a central issue in conservation biology and biodiversity science. Higher taxonomic units and life form-based morphospecies were utilised to assess plant diversity patterns at the habitat scale in temperate meadow steppe, Songnen Plain, China. Patch area, taxonomic composition (families and genera) and life form (based on Raunkiaer’s life forms, and stem and root growth forms) were recorded in five communities. Taxonomic unit-based hierarchical diversity indices (HDI) and life form-based hierarchical diversity indices (HLDI) were calculated. Twenty-six families, 67 genera, and 87 species were recorded in the five communities. HDI and HLDI were significantly correlated with patch area for all except the Kochia sieversiana community. For each community, HDI components showed no significant difference with species in slope, but differed in intercept, whereas HLDI components showed significant differences with species both in slope and intercept. Among the communities, the percentage contribution to HDI was highest for family diversity and lowest for infrageneric species diversity, and the percentage contribution to HLDI by different morphospecies components varied greatly (33.39–66.61%). Genus and family can be used instead of species to analyse plant diversity patterns, but use of life form-based morphospecies requires further study.


Cite This Article

DY, H., Yang, Y. (2018). Utility of taxonomic unit and life form in the analysis of plant diversity patterns in a temperate meadow steppe, China. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 87(all), 113–122.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 1295


  • 819


  • 0


Share Link